Students are having so much fun at recess! From Grade 1 to Grade 8, students are enjoying the challenge of obstacle courses created with our tree stumps. As well, imaginations are running wild with new ways to use them – including this town, complete with wiring (aka skipping ropes) for electricity.
On Friday October 29th, students are invited to wear a costume for Hallowe’en. Weather permitting, we will go outside to see each other’s costumes. Please review the guidelines below. We recognize that not all students and families choose to celebrate Hallowe’en. Participation is voluntary. When helping your child choose a costume, please keep the following in mind:
- Students are required to wear a mask for COVID-19. A costume mask does not replace the need for a face covering.
- Costume masks are not to be worn on top of COVID-19 masks.
- There should be no replica weapons or additional accessories brought to school as part of the costume.
- Culture is not a costume – costumes should be fun and creative. Please avoid anything that would demean, stereotype, appropriate, or mock different races, genders, religions or cultures. Click here to watch a 5 minute video entitled, “My Culture Is NOT A Costume.”
This year, it is important that students do not bring Hallowe’en treats to share.
Did you know that the Ontario math curriculum released last year includes coding? Ms. Vieira’s Grade 3/4 students are learning how to code using Scratch, one of the many coding programs available for children.
TDSB Newcomer Services “We Carry New Lives & Other Poems”
Celebrate the launch of a new poetry collection “We Carry New Lives & Other Poems”. This book is a collection of 55 original poems and illustrations by Gr. 6-12 students from TDSB schools through the Community Services’ Welcoming Communities program. Register https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/we-carry-new-lives-virtual-book-launch-tickets-183613231117
Join us online Thursday, October 21st at 6:00 p.m. for Curriculum Night. Teachers will be presenting an overview of your child’s curriculum and classroom this year. A second session will be offered at 6:25 p.m. We ask parents to please leave your camera on to create a more welcoming and personal space. Sessions will not be recorded, however, materials will be shared later. Teachers will send out links closer to the date.
Our Office at J.R. Wilcox
Over the past couple of weeks, we have been short staffed in our office, with either one or no secretary. As this may be ongoing for sometime, we ask for your patience when you call the office or ring the doorbell. We may be tending to a student or responding to someone else. To ensure we receive messages, please continue to email us at email@example.com. We thank you for your understanding and support.
Students who have severe allergies to such food substances are exposed to a severe health risk when such products are consumed in their environment or shared with them. As prevention is the best approach, we ask that you speak with your child about not sharing their snacks or lunches with other students and please do not send any snacks or lunches with your child that contain peanuts. Click here for a list of classes with severe allergies.
Improving our Outdoor Playgrounds
Have you gone by the school lately? We are loving our tree stumps generously donated to us. Last week, our kindergarten students were able to enjoy an outdoor game despite the grass being wet. We are excited by the many possibilities outdoor seating provides. If you have ideas for our playground or something to donate, please let us know. We expect to begin a process in the spring to design and upgrade our back playground and will be looking for parent/caregiver input.
Save the date for our first School Council meeting: October 26th at 7:00 p.m. School Council is a wonderful way to engage in our school community. It allows parents and caregivers the opportunity to provide advice and input on many important school decisions. All parents are encouraged to attend. An agenda and zoom link will be sent closer to the time.
French Programs Application Deadline
For families interested in the Toronto District School Board’s system-wide French Programs, we offer an online process to apply for Early French Immersion (begins in JK and SK, for September 2022 only) and Middle French Immersion (begins in Grade 4). An offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) is guaranteed to all on-time applicants. The timelines for applying for these programs for September 2022 are:
Early French Immersion: Applications must be completed online between November 1 and November 26, 2021.
Middle French Immersion: Applications must be completed online between January 3 and January 28, 2022.
Offers of placement within your chosen program (not a specific school) will be made to all on-time applicants in the weeks following the close of the application window. Families with an older sibling currently in a French program are still required to complete an online application for the new student.
Virtual Information Sessions for the Early French Immersion application and placement process are available in November on the following dates:
• November 8, 2021 at 7 p.m.
• November 15, 2021 at 10 a.m.
• November 23, 2021 at 7 p.m.
For more information about the Virtual Information Sessions, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/Elementary-School/School-Choices/French-Programs/Information-Sessions.
For more information about French programs, the application process and important dates, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/french or click on Application Process.
Reminder: J.R. Wilcox T-Shirts
Our School Council has generously donated funds to provide a J.R. Wilcox t-shirt to every student this year! The logo was created by a student to celebrate our 100 year anniversary. To order your child’s t-shirt, please complete this form to select the correct size. If you have more than one child, you will need to complete a form for each child. We would like to send in our order soon.
We are Hiring for Supply Lunchroom Supervisors
- If you have experience working with children and an ability to communicate in English sensitively with our students, parents and others, please consider joining our team.
- Your main role will be to ensure the safety and security of our students during the daily lunch period for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Necessary skills include patience, understanding and the ability to encourage positive relations among students.
- If interested, please apply on-line here and and provide a resume to the School
Virtual Community Fair
Voluntary Student Vaccination Disclosure
In the event of an interim cohort dismissal related to COVID-19, students who are fully vaccinated are allowed to continue to attend school as long as they have no symptoms. Fully vaccinated staff and students will still have to pass the COVID-19 screening tool each day, confirming they do not have symptoms. To more effectively manage possible COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in schools, Toronto Public Health is now requesting that Toronto school boards begin collecting the voluntary disclosure of vaccination status by students born in 2009 and earlier. This is intended to minimize disruption to the students and support a more efficient dismissal process. Please note you can choose to disclose or not disclose – it is entirely voluntary. Those who do not disclose their vaccination status will be considered unvaccinated for the purposes of the dismissal process. Learn how to update your vaccination status on the TDSB Health Screening App or on the online web portal.
How to Make a DIY Pencil Holder
Our recent news anchors taught us how to make a DIY pencil holder. Below are the instructions to try it yourself at home. Then snap a photo of your pencil holder and send it to us to see.
- 3 toilet paper rolls (or more)
- Glue the 3 toilet paper rolls (or more) together in any way you want.
- Wrap the paper around the toilet paper rolls and glue it carefully to secure the paper.
- Cut 3 circles to attach to the bottom of each toilet paper roll.
- Paint on the paper any way you want. You can also use markers, crayons, or pencil crayons.
Orange Shirt Day and Truth and Reconciliation Week 2021
This year’s Orange Shirt Day was part of Truth and Reconciliation Week, during which students learned more about Indigenous treaties, First Nation, Métis and Inuit land claims, and the residential schools system. Every day on the announcements, Grade 6 students taught us a word in the Ojibway language, such as aaniin which means hello. Some of our Grade 4 students wrote heartfelt responses using the prompt, “I matter because…” on orange t-shirt cutouts, and some Grade 5 students created art inspired by imagining what they would miss if they had been sent away to a residential school. The learning was meaningful and important and will continue outside of this week.
On Orange Shirt Day itself, we had an incredible number of students wear orange. We are grateful to parents and caregivers who help make it possible for students to participate in days like Orange Shirt Day.
School Council 2021-2022
We are pleased to introduce our 2021/2022 School Council Executive members:
Chair: Ronit Soroksky
Co-Secretaries: Maria Tsafaras and Joan Ogunyowa
Treasurer: Rosanne Brown
All parents/guardians of J.R. Wilcox (virtual and in-person) are welcome to join our school council meetings. Details for our first meeting will be shared soon.
Parents and Caregivers as Partners Conference 2021
Join us for a virtual conference and learn strategies to support your child, connect with other parents and hear from our inspirational keynote speaker. TDSB is committed to parent, caregiver, and community engagement as an essential element in our shared efforts to improve outcomes for children throughout their lives. Our role is to help build capacity by successfully engaging parents and caregivers, strengthening home-school partnerships, and aligning our collective efforts. The Parents and Caregivers as Partners Conference 2021 takes place on October 16 and 17 and provides an opportunity to highlight innovation and high-impact strategies for partnering, collaborating, and nurturing parents and caregiversʼ partnerships and alliances. Registration is now open! Learn more at www.parentsaspartners.ca
Terry Fox Run
This past Friday we participated in our Terry Fox Run. Students ran laps around the field, cheered on by our Grade 6, 7 or 8 students. The energy was palpable and it was an event that we have always enjoyed prior to the pandemic so were thrilled we could participate once again. Not only do we enjoy the thrill of the run and the symbolism that we run for people with cancer, but we are also raising money for the Terry Fox foundation. Terry Fox said, “anything is possible if you try.” We are inspired by his amazing example. Please consider supporting us in our try, and help us raise much-needed funds for cancer research. As one donor said, we are “keeping Terry Fox and his message alive!” To date, we have raised $937 thanks to your generosity. To donate, visit our school page.
Keeping Kids Safe
The streets around J.R. Wilcox continue to be very busy before and after school. Drivers are reminded to do their part to keep children safe near school buses.
Drivers should follow these tips:
- Stop and never pass a school bus when its red lights are flashing.
- Leave space around school buses and avoid blocking school bus loading zones so children can enter and exit safely. Our school bus loading zone is located on the south side of Ava Road.
- Be prepared to stop for a school bus at any time, not just during school hours.
- Always obey the rules of the road and watch for children, especially in school zones.
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and school crossings. We are fortunate to have a new crossing guard at the corner of Ava and Atlas.
Parents can also help keep their children safe by reminding them to be aware of their surroundings when they are on or near school buses.
Bicycle Helmets Available
We love to see students active and riding their bicycles and scooters to school. Did you know that, by law, every cyclist under age 18 must wear an approved helmet? We are happy to provide certified multi-sport helmets to students (size small-medium). Our caretaker Brad, is modelling the helmet here. Let us know if a child in your family needs one and we will be happy to send one home.
J.R. Wilcox T-shirts
Our School Council has generously donated funds to provide a J.R. Wilcox t-shirt to every student this year! The logo was created by a student to celebrate our 100 year anniversary. To order your child’s t-shirt, please complete this form to select the correct size. If you have more than one child, you will need to complete a form for each child. Please complete your order form by Friday, October 1st.
September 30th marks Orange Shirt Day & the First National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
Thursday, September 30th is Orange Shirt Day. It also marks the first annual National Day of Truth and Reconciliation which was passed by legislation this summer to become a federal statutory holiday.
Established in 2013, Orange Shirt Day was inspired by Phyllis Webstad, who was excited to wear her new orange shirt to her first day of school in 1973. However, when she arrived at St. Joseph Mission Residential School, her shirt was taken and never returned. From that day forward, the colour orange, for Phyllis, reminded her of that moment, how her feelings didn’t matter, how she felt like she wasn’t worth anything and that no one cared for the children who were crying about it that day.
Now, on this day, we recognize the legacy and impact of the residential schools system on First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and communities. We acknowledge the legacy of residential schools in Canada by wearing orange and we honour the survivors. We remember the thousands of children who were murdered and buried in unmarked graves.
On Thursday, September 30, 2021 wear orange to participate in Orange Shirt Day.
I Am From
At our first staff meeting this year, we read the poem I Am From by George Ella Lyon. In her poem, we learn what made the author who she was – her childhood memories of food and smells, of important events, and people in her life. Staff were then challenged to write their own poems to share their stories. Many of our teachers were inspired to have their students create I Am From poems as a way to learn about each other. Below are some poems written by our students.
There are many reasons to join the council:
- To know more about what’s happening at the school and to have a say in some decisions regarding your children’s school!
- To meet more parents at the school!
- To have a say in what your kids learn, get to know the teachers, and generally be more involved in your children’s school!
To become a member of School Council, please complete a self-nomination form by end of day September 28th. Please find the form here. What are the roles and what do they mean? (Please note all positions can be “co” as in two people working together on one role)
- Chair – Runs the meetings, creates agenda, sends emails out to parents
- Treasurer – Manages all finances for the school council
- Secretary – takes all notes from our school council meeting
- Voting Member – This person is an executive position and votes on school decisions ie where we spend money etc. *Needs to attend all monthly meetings
Voting will take place online on September 30th. Then join us on October 5th for our first School Council meeting of the year. For more information, visit our School Council page.
Join Ms. Vine, Ms. Taitt and our school social worker, Suzy Brotman, on Thursday, September 23 at 7:00 pm or Friday, September 24 at 9:15 am for a chat. Bring your questions/concerns about the upcoming school year and/or how your child is adjusting to school. We recognize that multiple parents/caregivers may be in the Zoom meeting, so we ask all attendees to please keep any information private to the session. A Zoom link will be sent out closer to the date.
Fire Drills and Lockdowns
At the beginning of each school year, our students and staff prepare for the year ahead by establishing the foundations for a successful year. One of the ways we know we can help students be successful is to create a safe environment in which to learn. Though no one ever wants to see an emergency happen at a school, it’s important for school staff to be equipped to deal with those situations, should they occur.
The safety of students and staff is a top priority at our school and to that end, as with all emergency drills, it is essential that we are prepared and understand the importance of procedures that will help ensure the safety of everyone in our school.
The TDSB has taken steps to ensure your child’s safety while in school. Each school has developed emergency preparedness plans that include steps staff will take in the event of an emergency, how staff will get students away from possible dangers, and how students’ families will be contacted.
One aspect of emergency preparedness is the lockdown and fire drill. All schools are required to conduct a minimum of two lockdown drills and six fire drills each school year. This week, we held our first fire drill and students practised exiting the building quickly and quietly. Lockdown drills, like fire drills, are an essential component to ensure student and staff safety. It is important that all staff and students are prepared and know how to respond in cases of emergencies. The drills last approximately 5 minutes and ensure plans are effective and can also systematically identify any safety concerns. We will conduct our first lockdown drill this coming week.
Communication is also very important in any emergency situation. The emergency contact information kept on file is important in helping this happen. It lists the people who can pick up a student from the school. If you have not yet provided this information to our school office or have updates to the information on file, please make sure our office staff have that information as soon as possible.
Anaphylaxis – Taking the Necessary Precautions
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can be life threatening. This medical condition can cause a severe reaction to specific foods or other materials, and can result in death within minutes. Although foods such as peanuts, milk, eggs, and sesame seeds are the most common cause of anaphylaxis, insect stings, medicine, or latex can also cause a reaction. In recent years, anaphylaxis has increased dramatically among students. The TDSB, in partnership with Toronto Public Health, is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment for all students and staff.
As required by Sabrina’s Law, the TDSB has established policies and procedures to prevent and manage anaphylactic reactions and to reduce the risk of exposure to anaphylactic causative agents in classrooms and common school areas.
Although this may or may not affect your child’s class directly, we want to raise awareness about this life-threatening condition. Students who have severe allergies to such food substances are exposed to a severe health risk when such products are consumed in their environment or shared with them. As prevention is the best approach, we ask that you speak with your child about not sharing their snacks or lunches with other students and please do not send any snacks or lunches with your child that contain peanuts.
If your child has health problems of any kind, please inform your child’s teacher or office staff immediately so that the necessary health protection steps may be taken and to ensure everyone’s co-operation for a safe learning environment.
Whether you are living with the allergy yourself, caring for someone who is, or concerned about people in your community, more information about life threatening allergies is available at http://foodallergycanada.ca.
Student Vote is an authentic learning program that provides students with the opportunity to experience the voting process firsthand and practice the habits of active and informed citizenship. On Friday’s Morning News Show, Ms. Frawley’s Grade 7/8 class introduced us to the party leader candidates for the provincial election and taught us about some of their beliefs and promises. On Monday, September 20th, students in Grades 4 to 8 will have the opportunity to cast their ballots. Voting will take place outside so in order to follow health and safety protocols. All schools must submit their ballots by Monday at 5:00 pm. and preliminary results will be shared on election night. Afterwards, the results will be updated daily with any submissions received after the deadline. The Student Vote Canada results will include the seat count and popular vote by party, results by riding and individual school tallies.
A Fond Farewell to Ms. Kontos
Yesterday, we said goodbye to our Acting Office Administrator, Ms. Kontos. She spent nearly a year working in our school and made a great impact on all of us. We wish her well in her new position at Central Technical School. We are happy to share that Ms. Tsiligiannis, who has been working as our morning secretary, will move into the full-time acting Office Administrator position.
It is so wonderful to have students back in the building again. These first two days were about meeting new friends, and saying hello to old ones. We had a school-wide assembly where we had a chance to be together as a community. While it is not the same as gathering in person, we used technology to bring us all back together. Students had a chance to meet new staff, and were reminded of the many health and safety protocols we have in place to keep everyone safe at school. Being safe at school means families are safe at home so we take this responsibility seriously.
Safety at Drop-off and Pick-Up
ntry points are spaced out around our property in order to be able to keep people physically distanced. We are fortunate to have a new crossing guard at the corner of Atlas and Ava Road to help students cross the street safely, however, this week, the sidewalk on Ava Road was so congested that some families had to walk on the road. With school busses and cars stopping to let children out, this is very unsafe. We are requesting that parents of Kindergarten students who are dropping their children at the green gate do so with a wave and then leave the property. This will allow children walking along the street to stay on the sidewalk. If you are driving your children to school, please stop your car on Atlas or Winnett as the school busses do not drive on these streets allowing more space for passing vehicles. Thank you for your cooperation.
Partnering with Women’s College Hospital
COVID-19 vaccination rates are increasing and this is avery good thing. Still we must be careful about COVID-19 and the variants. If your child develops any symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, your child will receive a saliva testing kit to complete at school or to take home and return to school. We will send the sample to WCH and you will receive your test result quickly and confidentially. If your child tests negative, they can return to school more quickly! Click here for more information about the program.
Backpacks, Lunch Bags and School Supplies
We are fortunate to have received some backpacks, lunch bags, school and PPE supplies from the United Jewish Appeal as well as the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Liberal MP. If your child could make use of these items, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to provide them.
rition Program Registration form gives permission for your child to receive morning snack. The Lunch Form tells us whether your child will be staying at school for lunch or going home. If you haven’t already done so, please complete them.
Morning News Show
Did you know that every Friday we come together as a community and watch the Morning News? It’s an opportunity for student voice – literally, as students are the anchors! It’s also a chance for classes to celebrate what they are learning and doing in school. Use this form to sign up to be a morning news anchor.
A Final Word
Thank you to all staff, students and families for your strength and resilience this year. It has been a year like no other. We have pulled together as a community to help keep each other safe, and learn and grow. Our dedicated teachers, educational support staff, caretakers and office staff showed patience, care and compassion. Our educators supported our students both academically and emotionally. Parents/Caregivers, thank you for entrusting us with your children. Our students are the reason we do what we do. We believe in them and are proud of what they accomplished this year. Thank you to our School Council executive who came on board and created a strong community despite never sharing the same space.
Today we had a final assembly in which we honoured our staff members who are moving on. We wished them well and presented them with graduation certificates from J.R. Wilcox. Click here to see the presentation. Then we shared one final laugh together as we danced our way to summer break with Go Noodle’s Celebrate by Blazer Fresh.
We wish everyone a happy and healthy summer.
Today we celebrated National Indigenous History Month with a beautiful assembly filled with many student voices and work. We acknowledged the devastating news of the unmarked graves in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. We also celebrated the many inspiring Indigenous people who have contributed so much. Some of our Grade 4 students learned about Pow Wows and shared beautiful videos. Click here to see the Kindergarten students’ contribution about the 7 Grandfather Teachings and Feather Art. Below you will see some poetry recently written by our Grade 7/8 students.
Device Drop-off and Retrieval of Student Belongings
If you are returning a device and do not need to enter the school, please drop it off at the main doors of the school between 1:00 and 4:00 pm on Tuesday, June 29th or between 8:30 and 11:30 am on Wednesday, June 30th. Please refer to the email sent on June 21st for full details.
Report cards and IEP Summaries are being sent electronically to all families today, Friday June 25th. Students were assessed based on their performance in Term 2, both in person and virtual learning. If you do not receive a report card for your child by the end of the day Friday, please email email@example.com.
Tentative School Organization and Class Placements
On your child’s Term 2 report card, there will be a statement with their class placement for September. Please see the chart below to identify the room number and teacher. We want to remind you that all placements are tentative at this time. We do not yet know what September will look like and we must be prepared for changes. With that in mind, we ask that the emphasis not be placed on a specific teacher for next year, rather how proud we are that they are moving to the next grade and excited for them to continue their learning at J.R. Wilcox.
School Year Calendar 2021-2022
The school year calendar has now been approved by the Ministry of Education. The official school year calendar for the Toronto District School Board runs from September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, inclusive. First day of classes for students is September 9, 2021. Click here for full details.
Hearts & Minds Newsletter
The June issue of Hearts & Minds is full of resources including recommended podcasts for parents/caregivers and how to make a smooth transition from summer to September. To read the June issue and all issues from this academic school year, click here.
Today we came together as a whole school community to celebrate diversity and raise awareness about the rich culture and history of our 2SLGBTQ community. We also watched the raising of our new more inclusive Pride flag.
The significance of the colours of the Inclusive pride flag are: LGBTQ 6 full sized color stripes representing life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), harmony/peace (blue), and spirit (purple/violet)
Hoist: 5 half sized stripes representing trans and non-binary individuals (light blue, light pink, white), marginalized POC communities (brown, black), as well as those living with AIDS and the stigma and prejudice surrounding them, and those who have been lost to the disease (black).
Click here to see Brianna and Bailey raise our flag at J.R. Wilcox. Click here to see some of the pride flags and messages created by our Kindergarten and Grade 7/8 students.
Next week, we are hosting a school-wide assembly in honour of National Indigenous History Month.
Every year, as a result of changes in staffing, we have to say goodbye to some amazing educators. Ms. G. Tran will be working at Fairbank Memorial full time and Ms. Aguirre will be joining the staff at Eglinton JPS. Our incredible long-term occasional teachers, Ms. Graham, Mr. Cabacungan, Mr. Tsemo, Ms. Parker, and Ms. Gjoliku, will be completing their assignments at the end of the year. Ms. Bangura, our Child and Youth Worker, and Ms. M. Tran, ECE, have been integral to our Autism and Kindergarten programs. We are fortunate to have had them all on our team and hope to welcome them back again some day.
We would like to give the gift of of gratitude and appreciation to our departing staff members. Click here to access the form to provide your input and appreciation. Then tune in with your children to our final assembly on the last day of school – June 29th.
We are excited to welcome the following staff members back to our team: Ms. Beamish, Ms. Angus, Ms. Diamond, Ms. DiManno, Ms. Vieira and Ms. Frawley. We also welcome new staff: Ms. Baek, Mr. Fithern, Mr. Smolkin and Ms. Glover.
Report cards will be sent home electronically beginning June 24th. Students were assessed based on their performance in Term 2, both in person and virtual learning.
These past few weeks have been difficult. We learned that children would not be returning to school this year. We learned about the terrible discovery of children’s remains from residential schools in our own country, and we learned about the hateful murder of a family in London, Ontario. Many of our teachers have been helping students to discuss the impact of racism and discrimination in Canada. At J.R. Wilcox, we are more committed than ever to talk about, teach, and interrupt racism and discrimination. EVERY child and family deserves to feel safe and accepted in our community. #WeAreWilcox
June in the TDSB
June is Pride Month! It’s an opportunity to celebrate diversity and raise awareness among all staff and students about the rich culture and history of our 2SLGBTQ+ community. TDSB school communities are encouraged to hold intentional sessions with their students about issues related to 2SLGBTQ+ communities as well as the impact of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia on TDSB students, staff and community members. 2SLGBTQ+ honours the knowledge of the two spirit, Indigenous and the work of communities to decolonize settlers. Click here for the Anti-Oppression Anti-Racism Celebrating Our Pride Newsletter written by the TDSB Mental Health and Well-Being Committee and the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Team. J.R. Wilcox will be hosting a Pride assembly on Friday, June 18th. Parents and caregivers are welcome to attend.
In June, we also honour National Indigenous History Month with the Urban Indigenous Education Centre. We celebrate and honour First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures and perspectives, enjoy Indigenous stories, literature, art and music. Learn from Indigenous people and their experiences. Many of our classes are engaged in deep learning about Indigenous History. J.R. Wilcox will be hosting an Indigenous History Month assembly on Friday, June 25th. Parents and caregivers are welcome to attend.
Portuguese-Speaking Heritage Month is proudly recognized during the month of June at the TDSB for the past 10 years since 2011. The Province of Ontario passed the Celebration of Portuguese Heritage Act in 2001 and this year marks the 20th anniversary of this Act. This year the theme is Esperanca! / Hope!
Italian Heritage Month is recognized proudly during the month of June as well. The TDSB passed a motion to recognize Italian Heritage Month in June in May 2012. This year the theme of Italian Heritage Month is Made in Italy. The Province of Ontario also celebrates Italian Heritage Month since June 2010 when the Italian Heritage Month Act was passed.
Upgrading our Outdoor Space
During the recent provincial lockdown, our basketball nets on the east side of the school were removed. The nearby streetlight encourages play late at night that is disturbing to our neighbours and the hoops fixed to the school wall cause damage to the building allowing water behind the brickwork. We needed to relocate our nets and wanted to do so quickly so that children and community members could enjoy the playground. We took the opportunity to meet with TDSB landscapers/facilities personnel and discussed a plan for improving our outdoor space. In the coming weeks, we will have two new basketball nets installed on the lower pavement and one or two triple hoops on the upper pavement. We also began the discussion to have other new landscaping and play features added. We would like to make J.R. Wilcox a truly a special place for our whole community and include features such as an outdoor seating and learning area, as well as added play areas. We will reach out to families in the new year to engage in greater dialogue with the community.
Mental Health and Well-Being
The 2021 Summer Well-Being Guide has a variety of culturally-responsive resources and accessible activities for students and families. Information on where and how to reach out for help is also included. In addition, on page 3 of the guide, there are details and contact information to register for various Summer Groups offered by our Professional Support Services Staff for students and caregivers.
The TDSB Psychology Services team is proud to share their spring edition of Hearts and Minds.
Our Greatest Grands is a new group supporting grandparents who are caring for students in the TDSB. Register by July 23rd and meet weekly on Wednesdays in August.
Welcome to Kindergarten
We are excited to meet our new Junior Kindergarten students! If you missed our orientation, click here to see the information shared with our new families. Families will be invited to school to pick up their Welcome to Kindergarten bags at the beginning of July.
Remembering the Children in Residential Schools
Our community stands with others in our grief and sadness at the discovery of the 215 children whose remains were uncovered in a mass unmarked grave in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc this past week. Our flag will be lowered to half-mast in honour of these children. As educators, we know that we have work to do to teach the truth about this shameful and tragic part of Canada’s past. It is only through this work, that there will be reconciliation. As you walk past our school this week, you will also see drawings on the sidewalk that have been put there by staff and families as a way of reinforcing and remembering that EVERY CHILD MATTERS. Tomorrow, we will wear orange to remember the children. Tomorrow, when our teachers share the Land Acknowledgement, they may include this topic in an age appropriate way. If you are looking for resources for your children, please visit this TDSB site of curated resources.
Last week, we had our final school council meeting of the year. We had a very collaborative and dedicated executive who worked to make a difference for our entire J.R. Wilcox community. Thank you to everyone who attended a meeting, contributed an idea, attended an event, read an email, or visited our website. This year, we have many reasons to be proud, including:
- establishing a set of bylaws which govern our council and guide our work
- consistently high attendance at meetings
- virtual family activity night
- fundraising including 2 book fairs and Flipgive
- creation of Class Parents
- parent/caregiver speakers
- a community food pantry
- School Council webpage
Parent/Caregiver Speaker Series
The Future of Public Education
Thursday June 3 @ 6:30 p.m.
There is lots of information out there about the future of education, including the role of technology, the choices parents/caregivers can expect from the public system and the challenges and benefits of virtual learning. Tune in to hear from a panel of experts who will provide some insights on virtual engagement and the future of education.
Join the webinar or by phone at 1-647-558-0588, Webinar ID: 935 2333 5918
Scholastic Book Fair
Join us for our final meeting of the year on Tuesday, May 25th at 7:00 p.m. An agenda with the link will be shared via email. Read the minutes from our last meeting here.
This week we hosted an information session for parents to learn about vaccines and children, age 12-17. Dr. Suvendrini Lena, from Women’s College Hospital provided data about the vaccine, it’s use in children, and how consent is given. If you missed this session, click here for the recording. Grade 6-8 students will have their own information session with WCH in class on Tuesday, May 25th. J.R. Wilcox students who are 12 years of age are invited to get their first vaccine at Oakwood CI on Tuesday May 25th and Wednesday, May 26th between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Grade 8 Graduation 2021
Online Learning Experiences
Students, staff, and families were asked to share their feelings about online learning. In this video prepared by Ms. Parker, you’ll learn what Bryan Daniel likes and dislikes about online learning. He also shares a tip to help him focus and some computer shortcuts.
Welcome to Kindergarten Orientation
We Are Authors
Ms. Powell’s Grade 4 students have been hard at work writing and are now published authors. Here is a glimpse into their published book as well as some of their beautiful poetry:
- May 23rd is the final day for parents/caregivers to provide input into class placements for next year.
- May 24 is Victoria Day and there will be no classes.
- May 25-27 is the J. R. Wilcox Scholastic Book Fair – Details coming soon
- May 25 is our School Council meeting
Black Food Toronto
Black Food Toronto is an Afri-Can FoodBasket COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program. If you are in need of assistance, fill in this form to be put on their waitlist.
COVIC-19 Vaccination Clinic
Parent/Caregiver Speaker Series
EarlyON Child and Family Centre
Children’s Mental Health Week
We all need ways to boost our resilience and keep ourselves calm now. Check out what strategies some of our Grade 4s have in their Mental Health toolkits.
Grocery Gift Cards
We recognize how challenging this pandemic continues to be for so many families. It is our hope that we can assist in a small way by offering grocery gift cards to those who request. Click here to complete this form. The information you provide will be treated confidentially.
Coffee and Conversation
Join Ms. Vine and Ms. Collins for Coffee and Conversation on Friday, May 14th at 9:15 a.m. It’s a chance for us to connect as a community, ask questions, and share stories. No agenda, just casual conversation. A link will be sent out closer to the date.
Parent/Caregiver Speaker Series
Humewood School Council invites you to:
When: Monday May 10th, 2021
Time: 7:30-9:00 pm
Click here to learn more / register.
Davisville Jr PS invites you to join them and instructor Tina Carlson, an IMTA certiﬁed mindfulness teacher with UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center for a variety of programming in May.
- Thursday May 13 – 6:30 – 7:30 pm JK-Grade 2 – Mindful PJ Party
- Thursday May 20 – 6:30 – 7:30 pm Grades 3-6 – Mindful Super Heroes
- Thursday May 27 – 8:00 – 9:30 pm – For Parents and Caregivers – Mindfulness and Equity: Natural Partners
To join, please register here –https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfKEy0hgWHQwH_unQM2D34JM0pfWWKC4ifvW6X9Bj-6NOWZxQ/viewform
Elmlea Junior School invites you to:
Parent/Caregiver Speaker Series
Equity and Anti-Racism Workshop with Alexis Dawson
West Prep School Council invites J.R. Wilcox families to an interactive workshop led by anti-racism expert, Alexis Dawson. She is an anti-racism trainer, advocate, and former Trustee at the TDSB. She continues to advocate for Black student equity in a variety of roles including as Chair of the TDSB Black Student Achievement Community Advisory Committee, community organizer, and parent. This workshop will explore:
- Race, racism, systemic anti-Black racism
- Raising anti-racist children and Anti-Black racism in TDSB
- What parents/caregivers and school councils can do to confront racism.
Sign up HERE to register. Zoom link for the workshop will be emailed prior to the event.
Grade 3 Spring Art Show
May is Asian Heritage Month
Asian Heritage Month is recognized formally throughout Canada through an official declaration that was signed in May 2002. The Senate of Canada accepted this motion originally proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy in December 2001. Subsequently, the Province of Ontario passed the Asian Heritage Act in 2005.
We are proud to celebrate the numerous achievements of Asian-Canadians and their significant role on the global stage. This year our theme is Discover. Share. Celebrate our Resiliency! An invitation by the TDSB Asian Heritage Month planning committee is being extended to all TDSB staff, students, and the TDSB community to attend the Virtual TDSB Asian Heritage Month Celebration. Tuesday, May 4, 2021 from 1 – 2 p.m.https://www.tdsb.on.ca/stream/LiveWebcast-Asian-HeritageMonth.html.
Mental Health Toolkit for Parents/Caregivers
This past week, we were fortunate to have our school social worker, Suzy Brotman, and psychologist, Dr. Alison Blakely, join us at our School Council meeting to share resources and ideas to support our children’s mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for the Mental Health Toolkit resources shared at the presentation.
Elementary Summer School
The focus of the Elementary Summer School Program is to continue student learning and engagement through the month of July. Programs, embedded in Literacy and Numeracy, are developed by the local summer school Principal to reflect the local school focus. Thirty-eight (38) programs are offered to students in Kindergarten to Grade 8, from July 5 to 30, 2021, in-person or online through virtual instruction.
Registration is now open! Click here for a full list of participating schools and registration information.
It is hard to believe that our first full week of Remote Learning has come to an end. We thank our students and staff for yet another successful transition. During this week, our students continued to engage in rich learning experiences designed by our staff. We have all become more proficient in Google Classroom, Google Meet, Zoom, and email. We thank all in our school community for continuing to come together in support of our students.
We continue to face an unprecedented situation and want to assure you that parents’/caregivers’ and students’ health and well-being is foremost in our minds. Please stay safe and reach out if you need something.
Join us for our next school council meeting this coming Tuesday, April 27th. We were thrilled to welcome new people to our meeting in March and hope to see more people this month. Click here for the draft minutes from the March meeting. Click here for the agenda for this month’s meeting. Our agenda is light for this meeting, allowing us time to welcome our school social worker and psychologist for a discussion about mental health.
Parent/Caregiver Speaker Series – Mental Health
- How can I keep my child or teen mentally well during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What are the signs my child or teen might be struggling with their mental health?
- How do I support my child with their mental health?
- How can I access help for my child or teen’s mental health?
Children’s Mental Health Week Poster Contest
We invite you to participate in the Child and Youth Services Poster Contest 2021 in Support of Children’s Mental Health Week . A “tool kit” is our own special coping skills we use to be well. This year our theme is “My Tool Kit.” We are asking all students: What coping strategies do you use to stay well? As this year is another unique school year, we want to recognize we are all in various emotional places. Wherever you are is perfectly okay because you are doing the best you can with the coping skills (tools) that you have! Use the hashtag #mytoolkit to tell us what tools (coping skills) you have used throughout the school year to help you stay well. Click here for more details. The deadline for submission is April 30th, 11:59 p.m. and the winners will be announced on May 7th. Prizes to be WON! The winning designs will be made into full size posters, posted on the TDSB Website and social media!
As we look towards the warmer months, we would like to take this opportunity to share information about the community pantry located near the corner of Ava and Winnett. Feel free to leave what you can, and take what you need. Click here for ideas for most-needed items. Thank you very much!
As we prepare to return to school after a long weekend, we want to remind you to be vigilant in following the protocols that have been put in place as the actions of one impact the health and safety of all in our community.
Toronto Public Health Guidelines – What to do if your child has COVID-19 symptoms
If your child has one or more (new or worsening) symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay at home, self-isolate, and get tested. It is important that you contact us at school to let us know that your child has COVID-19 symptoms. Then make an appointment at an Assessment Centre near you to get tested. Children can get a throat or nose swab. Saliva tests are also available. If a child is at school when they develop symptoms, we have saliva tests available for children to do at school with parental consent.
The siblings or children in the same household as the child with symptoms also must stay home and self-isolate. If the child with symptoms was a close contact of someone with COVID-19, everyone in the home needs to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days.
We recognize that sometimes children are sick for other reasons. If your health care provider has said your child’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19, your child may return to school 24 hours after their symptoms have improved. Siblings can also return to school. For colds or respiratory symptoms, your health care provider cannot rule out COVID-19 without a test.
If your child was home from school due to symptoms of COVID-19, or someone in the household being a close contact of a person with COVID-19, it is important to complete the Back to School Confirmation form. Forms can also be found on the TPH website and are also available in Arabic | Simplified Chinese | Traditional Chinese | Farsi | French | Gujarati | Hindi | Punjabi | Slovak | Somali | Spanish | Tamil | Tibetan | Urdu ).
Coffee and Conversation
We covered a variety of topics during the Coffee and Conversation on April 1st. Thank you to a parent who summarized the highlights below for those who were unable to attend:
Topic: Oakwood Collegiate asymptomatic testing from last month. Larger turnout than ever before. Women’s College Hospital and testing network has since adjusted the framework to reduce waits and exposure. No positive cases at the school uncovered at that testing session.
Topic: Vaccination advocacy for education workers. Apparently phase two (2) of the provincial plan begins in April, and includes teachers. Advocating to have teachers vaccinated over April break to required time off during school hours.
Topic: Next year’s staffing framework was released to Toronto schools this week. Teacher and Parent consultation teams have been set up to look at various models. Estimate 366 students registered for 2021/2022, and expect to operate with all students in-school. In May, school will email families requesting input on best learning environments for their child to assist in planning classes.
Topic: Budget for next year. All school budgets are available online here to see the breakdown of allocated funds. School board has advised that September 2021 will revert to pre-pandemic budget levels, but details are not released yet. School works to optimize funds available. For instance, able to obtain 30 new chromebooks this year for the school without using the school budget.
April is Sikh Heritage Month at the TDSB
Sikh Heritage Month is proudly recognized at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the month of April. On March 22, 2016, the Board of Trustees voted to designate April of each year as Sikh Heritage Month, making the TDSB the first school board in Canada to do so. This designation matches the recognition by the province of Ontario that proclaimed the Sikh Heritage Month Act in December 2013. This year our theme is Growing our Future: The Legacy of Sikh Farmers.Sikh Canadians have lived in Ontario since the turn of the twentieth century. They have made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of Ontario and their traditions and culture continue to be a vibrant part of every aspect of life of Canadians today. This includes many Sikh families who are engaged in farming throughout Canada.We are inviting all TDSB community, students and staff to join our virtual Sikh Heritage Month launch to recognize the contributions of Sikh Canadians. Join us for a remarkable afternoon of information and celebration – Tuesday, April 6, 2021 from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – click here.
April is Latin-America History Month at the TDSB
During the month of April, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) proudly recognized Latin-America History Month. In April 2016, our TDSB Board of Trustees voted that April be designated as Latin-America History Month. The motion was a result of advocacy on behalf of TDSB students, educators, parents/caregivers as well as community organizations within LAEN-The Latinx, Afro-Latin-America Abya Yala Education Network. Together, hundreds of community members called for the TDSB to take up the work of addressing social inequities harming TDSB school families with ancestry from the Lands that are known in Western mainstream culture as Latin-America.This year’s theme – a “(DeColonizing) Latin-America History Month: Learning together, from the Eagle, Quetzal and Condor about our pasts with our relatives of today,” – braids the different elements of our complex and diverse personal, academic and professional identities, lived experiences, ways of knowing and teaching, social positionality and levels of impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We aim to grow stronger as a TDSB community by sharing our stories of resilience, struggle and success, in relation to intentionally honouring and co-creating with the many territories and peoples over which the Eagle, the Quetzal and the Condor fly.Please join us for the Latin-America Virtual Launch Celebration taking place on Wednesday, April 7th from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Click here.
April is Hispanic Heritage Month at the TDSB
During the month of April the TDSB recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month. In March 2010, our TDSB Board of Trustees voted that April be designated as Hispanic Heritage Month at the Toronto District School Board.As stated in the Hispanic Heritage Month Act, (May 5, 2015): “Ontario is home to more than 400,000 first-, second- and third-generation Canadian of Hispanic origin. As early as 1914, Canadians who originated from 23 Hispanic countries began immigrating to the province and today the Hispanic community is one of the fastest growing in Ontario. Hispanic-Canadians represent a dynamic community that has made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of the Province of Ontario.By proclaiming the month of October as Hispanic Heritage Month in Ontario, the province recognizes the rich contributions of Hispanic-Canadians to our social economic, political and multicultural fabric. Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the outstanding achievements and contributions of Hispanic people in the province.”
Prime Minister’s Awards
Canada’s educators are showing resilience and commitment to students in the face of COVID-19. We have some exceptional educators at J.R. Wilcox. Consider nominating one of them for a 2021 Prime Minister’s Award! This program honours innovative and outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers and early childhood educators who are helping prepare Canadian youth for the challenges of tomorrow. The nomination deadline has been extended for the 2021 competition until April 27, 2021. Looking for inspiration? Check out previous teaching and early childhood education award recipients. 2021 nomination packages are available at www.pma.gc.ca. The nomination deadline is April 27, 2021 at 11:59 a.m. (Pacific Time).
Elementary Summer School 2021
The focus of the Elementary Summer School Program is to support student learning and engagement through the month of July. Programs, embedded in Literacy and Numeracy, are developed by the local summer school principal to reflect the local school focus. Thirty-eight programs are offered to students in Kindergarten to Grade 8, from July 5 – 30, 2021, in-person or online through virtual instruction. Registration is now open! Click here for a full list of participating schools and registration information.
Did you know that our announcements take on a different format on Fridays? The Morning News show is created with students and has regular features, such as the Land Acknowledgement, O Canada, and student birthdays. Our news anchors also plan special news segments. Past segments have included book recommendations and interesting facts our students are learning about. Today’s news celebrated J.R. Wilcox students who won awards in the Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day Contest. Kymani, Jestina, Therra, Lukas M. and Sofia R. won awards in the poster category, and Leo D. won for his poem in the literary category. It was exciting for students to see themselves celebrated for their work. Each week, we have more and more students volunteering to anchor the news. The link to watch the news at 11:25 on Fridays is on our Google Calendar.
School Council is looking to drive more attendance and engagement at their meetings so next week, March 31 from 7-8 pm the council will be giving away prizing via Q&A to those in attendance. Click here for the agenda. Additionally, if you have any questions you’d like answered, please log them here so we answers can be provided in the meeting. See you next week!
Thank you to Yael in the EarlyON Centre for sharing this neighbourhood bingo game. All the photographs included were taken in close proximity to the school. Print out this page or use the photo above. As you walk around your neighbourhood, try to find each of the items shown on the bingo card. When you have found all of the items, shout “Bingo!”
Coffee and Conversation
Join Ms. Vine and Ms. Collins for Coffee and Conversation on Thursday, April 1st at 9:30. It’s a chance for us to connect as a community, ask questions, and share stories. No agenda, just casual conversation. A link will be sent out closer to the date.
COVID-19 Health Protocols
We appreciate everyone’s support in using the COVID-19 screening tool and following the Toronto Public Health guidelines should a child or family member display COVID symptoms. If your child has been absent from school due to exposure or symptoms and has gone for a COVID test, it is essential that you complete and submit the BACK TO SCHOOL CONFIRMATION FORM. The safety of our students, staff and their families depends on open communication and following the protocols that we have in place.
We Fight Racism
J.R. Wilcox and the Toronto District School Board commit to standing up against discrimination and acts of racism in all of its forms. Anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, whenever and wherever they occur. Now more than ever, we need to work together, to build a more just and inclusive world for all of us. This year to honor the International Day for the Elimination of Racism, the United Nations has chosen its theme, “Youth Standing Up Against Racism” using the hashtag, #FightRacism, which aims to foster a global culture of anti discrimination and calls on each and every one of us to stand up against racial injustice. Here is a glimpse into what some of our classes did to #FightRacism.
We Miss Our Virtual Students
Is your child in the TDSB Virtual School? We would love to see some of the work they’ve been doing. Consider sending a photo of your child “in school’ or something they are working on and we’ll feature it in a future edition of The Wilcox Word.
Greek Heritage Month
|March is Greek Heritage Month at the TDSB. It is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Greek Canadians to Canada, and an occasion to mark and enjoy the history of Greek culture. This year marks the 200th year of Independence for Greece. The theme for this year is: 1821-2021 Freedom and Unity – Ελευθερíα και Ενóτητα Learning From Our Roots…Shaping Our Future. For more information and resources, please visit the GHM website https://sites.google.com/a/tdsb.on.ca/greekheritagemonth/|
Parent Engagement Speaker
Screenagers Next Chapter — Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience Screening
◾Speaker: Screening followed by facilitated conversation with Director Delaney Rushton
◾Thursday, March 25, 2021, 6:30 p.m.
High stress, anxiety and depression are experienced by millions of young people. In the documentary Screenagers, we witness Delaney as she finds her way from ineffective parenting to much-improved strategies. We follow other personal stories of families from an array of backgrounds with a spectrum of emotional challenges. We also observe approaches in schools that provide strategies relevant beyond the classroom setting. Interwoven into the stories are surprising insights from brain researchers, psychologists, and thought-leaders that reveal evidence-based ways to support mental wellness among our youth. The impact of social media and other screen time is incorporated in all the topics raised Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER, how it may be impacting our teen’s mental health, and what we can do to help foster youth in the face of struggles.
COVID-19 Screening Before Students Come to School
Every student must complete a COVID-19 screening before coming to school each day. Toronto Public Health has a COVID-19 screening questionnaire for students JK to Grade 12 that you can use. If your child has one or more symptoms of COVID-19:
- Keep your child home, even if the symptoms are mild.
- Siblings and other children in the home must also stay home.
- Arrange for your child to get tested or contact your health care provider.
- Without testing, your child and their siblings must stay home for 10 days. A doctor’s note is not needed for return to school.
- Monitor your family for symptoms. Adults must stay home if they have one or more symptom.
For more information, visit: Toronto Public Health’s Information for Parents and Caregivers.
Join Ms. Vine for a bedtime story on Twitter , on Sunday March 14th 7:00 p.m. Hop into your pjs, and settle in for a story. Together #WeAreWilcox
A Glimpse Into our Classrooms
Parent Engagement Speakers
This week, Michelle Munroe, Parent and Community Engagement Coordinator, joined us to talk about how we can better serve our parent/caregiver community at J.R. Wilcox. We had open and honest conversation around race and inclusion, what works on our School Council and what needs improvement. We are always looking at ways to reach more parents/caregivers in our community.
Join us for our next Parent Engagement opportunity on Tuesday, April 27th, when we welcome our social worker, Suzy Brotman, and psychologist, Alison Blakely who will speak with us about Mental Health and Well-Being during this difficult time in our history. This parent engagement opportunity will be the latter part of our School Council meeting.
We have had another busy week of learning and building community at J.R. Wilcox. On Monday, we said goodbye to Roberto Tontodonati, who has been our head caretaker and welcomed Brad Sullivan to the role. We are pleased to have him join us.
On Wednesday, our Kindergarten to Grade 3 students enjoyed meeting Luca Lazylegz Patuelli, who is a dancer and choreographer. He told us he was born with a condition that made his legs weak, taught himself to dance, and then broke his leg at a competition. Nothing has stopped him, however, and he continues to dance and perform. He shared stories of resilience and overcoming challenges and introduced us to his “Ill Abilities” Crew. His message to us all – there are NO LIMITS to what we can do.
On Thursday evening, School Council organized our family activity night, offering programming in yoga, music, nutrition, origami, and dance. Students and their families were able to enjoy family programming, while coming together as a community. It was truly a #WeAreWilcox event!
A Look inside our Classrooms
There has been a lot of discussion around Black History happening in our classrooms. Below are some images from Mr. Clement’s Grade 5/6 class and Mrs. Winston’s Grade 2/3 class.
Mrs. Rath’s Grade 7/8 class made marble runs as part of their learning. Click on the photo below to see how this wall-size run works.
Our Kindergarten students have been working on animal habitats (Ms. Haidarali) , current events (Mrs. Hetherington), and building with 3D shapes (Ms. Saskin).
Join us on Thursday, March 11th at 7:00 p.m. when Michelle Munroe, Parent and Community Engagement Coordinator, talks with us about how to build a stronger and more inclusive parent/caretaker community at J.R. Wilcox. Click here to join the conversation.
Join us on Tuesday, April 27th, when we welcome our social worker, Suzy Brotman, and psychologist, Alison Blakely who will speak with us about Mental Health and Well-Being during this difficult time in our history. This parent engagement opportunity will be the latter part of our School Council meeting. Click here to join the School Council meeting and mental health conversation.
Thank you to our families for your diligence in completing the Daily Health Screening. By keeping all children in the household home when one member has a symptom of COVID-19, we are all able to stay healthy.
Stronger Than Hate
This week, our Grade 6-8 students (including Mr. Clement’s Grade 5s) participated in a live virtual program, Stronger Than Hate – A Call to Action. It was a joint presentation by the TDSB’s African Heritage Committee, Jewish Heritage Committee, Liberation75, USC Shoah Foundation, and Peel District School Board. Over 10,000 people/classes joined in the conversation to hear the stories of how the 761st Tank Battalion, the first all African-American Tank Battalion in World War II, helped to defeat the Nazis as well as liberate several concentration camps. We heard stories from Max Eisen, a survivor of the Holocaust, as well as Joe Wilson Jr, son of a member of the 761st Tank Battalion. With the world seeing an increase in anti-black racism and anti-semitism, this conversation helped us consider what we have learned from history and witnesses to genocide, and reflect on how that knowledge can help us take action to counteract hate.
We also want to acknowledge the anti-Asian racism and violence that has increased under the COVID-19 pandemic. J.R. Wilcox condemns racism of every kind, is actively working to be anti-racist, and wishes to offer support to families, students, and staff throughout this very difficult time in our history. Click here for supports available for mental health and well-being. As well, please reach out to us – we are here to support you.
Virtual Family Fun Night – Thursday, March 4
J.R. Wilcox School Council is bringing our community together for a Virtual Family Night this Thursday, March 4th from 6:30-7:30. Register for 2 of 5 sessions, including nutrition, music, dance, yoga and origami. Click here to register and a zoom link will be sent to your email to log on at the scheduled time.
Hearts & Minds February Newsletter from TDSB Psychological Services
Click the image below to read the full issue.
Midtown’s Got Talent – March 25
We were thrilled to welcome everyone back to school this week! Our students did an amazing job following the routines and procedures put in place to keep everyone safe. We are grateful for the cooperation of our parents and caregivers who continue to be diligent with the daily health screening. We welcomed our Public Health Nurse on Friday as she visited to ensure that we were doing everything possible to ensure the safety of everyone in the building.
Did you know that Toronto Public Health has provided schools with a Decision Tool to assist us in knowing when a student or staff member needs to be excluded from school? If you are unsure what to do if a member of your household has a symptom, tests positive for COVID-19, or is considered a close contact of someone who has tested positive, please reach out and we will assist you.
Parents and caregivers are reminded to send extra masks with their children and review how to store the mask when taking it off to eat or to have a mask break.
Ms. Hunt’s Grade 3 Students Air Their Dirty Laundry
Click the image below to see the creative ways students used clothing to create art while learning virtually at home.
Support for Parents and Caregivers
Virtual Office Hours for Parents and Caregivers will happen every Tuesday at 10am-11am and Thursday at 7pm-8pm. Every session will have 3 representatives from the different Professional Support Services Departments including: Child and Youth Services, OT/PT, Psychological Services, Social Work and Speech-Language Services. While this is not a space for therapeutic intervention, it is a space where parents/caregivers can get some support in navigating their children’s needs in relation to Mental Health and Wellbeing. Interpretation will be available as required.
Morning Drop-off and Pick-up Reminder
Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., we are unable to provide parking for families as all spots are needed for staff. When dropping off your children, please park along Winnett Avenue or Atlas Avenue. Please do not park along Ava Road as the school busses stop on the south side and congestion builds up on the north. Thank you for your cooperation.
Fun in the Snow! Students Enjoyed our First Big Snow Fall.
Our School Council meets the last Tuesday of each month. Please join us on Tuesday, February 23rd from 7-8 p.m. for our next meeting. Click here for this week’s agenda.
Returning to School
We are looking forward to welcoming students back to school when in-person learning resumes on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Further to the message from Toronto Public Health earlier this week, we want to remind you of a few important things we must continue to do to help keep our schools safe and healthy for both students and staff before we come together again.
New TPH Screening Tool for Students
One of the most important things we can do to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our schools is for students to screen themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19 and also follow the circumstances in which they should stay home. Toronto Public Health (TPH) has revised its screening tool for students.The update is that everyone in a household must now complete the updated COVID-19 screening daily. The TDSB Student Health Pass has been updated with this change. Students will receive a hard copy of the new Health Pass on Tuesday. Specific changes to the school screening tools include the following:
- Household member has symptoms: If anyone in the household has one or more COVID-19 symptoms, all children and adults who attend a school setting must stay home from school until COVID-19 has been ruled out. If the household member with one or more symptoms does not go for testing, the children and adults in the home who attend a school setting must stay home for 10 days.
- Household member has travelled: If anyone in the household has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, all children and adults who attend a school setting must stay home from school until the person who travelled completes the federally-required 14 days of self-isolation. If the individual is exempt from this self-isolation because they perform an essential job (e.g. truck driver, pilot), the rest of the household can still attend school.
- Close contact of someone who had COVID-19: If anyone in the household is self-isolating at home because they were a close contact of someone who had COVID-19, all children in the household will need to stay home from school until the person who was a close contact completes the 14 days of self-isolation. Adults who attend a school setting can still attend school as long as the person who was a close contact does not have symptoms.
Testing for COVID-19
Toronto Public Health recommends staff, students and their household members who have even one mild symptom of COVID-19 get tested. TPH will continue to recommend asymptomatic testing in schools where necessary and will work with testing partners to coordinate testing in high-risk cohorts. We will provide updates on testing as it becomes available.
Continued Health and Safety Practices
Please remind your child of the continued importance of hand washing, physical distancing and mask wearing, which is required for all staff and students. Toronto Public Health offers guidance on the qualities of a good mask, which includes being made of at least two layers of tightly woven fabric and, if possible, a middle “filter” layer.
Masks are required for all adults and students. When outdoors, children should remain physically distant as much as possible. They can play with members of their cohort. Even with members of their own cohort, if they are not able to physically distance, they must wear masks. Staff will schedule mask breaks outdoors throughout the day and take advantage of the outdoor classroom spaces we have designated. Please remember to send extra masks with your child so they can be changed when soiled or wet.
Lunch and Snack Breaks
Students will remove their masks in the school for scheduled lunch and snack breaks. While masks are off for eating and drinking students are reminded to stay physically distanced from others and refrain from talking.
Reminders for Morning Entry and Afternoon Dismissal
- All parents/caregivers will be required to wear masks.
- Arrive at school as close to the bell time as possible.
- Once your child has arrived at their classroom meeting spot parents/caregivers are asked to leave the school property so that we do not have too many people congregated together in one spot.
- Teachers will meet students at their line up, check health screening passes, and enter the building through their designated doors.
Please remember that parents and students are not to congregate in the school yard, and, outside of school, students should not gather with others, even with those in their cohort.
Return of Student Devices
Families who borrowed J.R. Wilcox devices the week prior to, or during our recent online learning, are asked to return them so that they can be sanitized and redistributed for use in the classroom. Please return borrowed devices and cords to a staff member who will be located at one of the following places: Ava Road near to the kindergarten gate, Winnett Avenue by the basketball court, or Atlas Avenue at the gate opening to the yard.
Hats Off to Educators
This week, our students showed their appreciation for all the hard work our teachers and support staff have been doing over the past 6 weeks. Class Parents asked students to wear hats in the morning and then remove them after lunch. Thank you to the families who sent in their photos!
Delayed March Break
March Break — originally scheduled for March 15 to 19, 2021 — has now been delayed by approximately a month in the hopes of reducing community transmission of COVID-19. The break is now scheduled for April 12 – 16, 2021.
February 6, 2021
This week was a busy one in the world of online learning. On Monday, our entire school came together to get fit and have fun with X Movement. On Wednesday, our Grade 4-8 students met Jeff Martin, a motivational speaker who captivated us all with his messages of positivity and empowerment. He referenced influential people like Martin Luther King Jr., Malala, Viola Desmond, Walt Disney, and Canadian fashion model, Winnie Harlow. He asked us to imagine what would have happened if these people had allowed others to dictate their dreams, or value their worth. He reminded us that what we say after, “I am…” is critical to our future (see image below for our students’ responses). Each one of our students was reminded that, “There will never be another you” so when the world brings negativity, believe in who you are!
On Thursday, our Kindergarten to Grade 3s joined with students from Brown JPS and welcomed back X Movement for their second visit. They exercised, learned some dance moves, shared something they liked about themselves, and did some mindful breathing. This week they will have their third and final session with X Movement.
Equity and Anti-Racism Committee: Call for members
J.R. Wilcox is committed to equity and anti-racism. We are looking for parents/guardians to join our Equity and Anti-Racism Committee. It is our hope that the committee will consider applying for funding to build our school’s capacity and commitment.
School Councils may submit one request for supports up to $1,500 to support initiatives/activities that engage parents/caregivers (including virtual), and builds School Councils’ capacity around Human Rights, Equity, Anti-Racism, Anti-Indigenous and Anti-Black Racism. School Councils may collaborate and submit one application, however allocation will remain at a maximum of $1,500 per school. Possible activities include:
- Information sessions with guest speakers;
- Parent Resource Creation;
- Conversation Circles.
Student and staff activities are not eligible.
More information can be found here.
Starting school is an exciting time for your child. Our schools provide a rich learning environment for all children to learn and grow. In the Kindergarten program, your child will develop their skills and abilities through inquiry and intentional play-based learning that includes literacy, math, science and the arts. Teachers and Early Childhood Educators work together to plan engaging classroom experiences where children are learning and thinking creatively.
Online Registration is now open. To attend Junior Kindergarten in September, children must turn four years old by December 31. To register for Senior Kindergarten, children must be five years old by December 31.
Please use the link below to register online. For any questions or concerns, email the school office at firstname.lastname@example.org A member of our office team will connect with you once they receive your submission.
We look forward to welcoming you and your child at our school in September!
New registrants will be invited to attend a Welcome to Kindergarten session in the spring.
An Example from Math Class
Students in our Primary Autism class were studying data management. They created surveys and one was sent out to widely. They had about 50 staff and students from across J.R. Wilcox participate in the survey. It was great to see the different grades and the way in which they were engaging in online learning. Thanks to everyone for making this project possible!
Thank you to our friends at the Mabin School for inviting us to join in an evening of learning with Dr. Alex Russell (co-author of “Drop the Worry Ball: Parenting in the Age of Entitlement”). His talk on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 8:00 pm: “Keeping Them Safe While Helping Them Grow: Supporting Children’s Emotional Growth in Challenging Times” promises to be an informative evening. You can sign up here. Zoom details will be provided closer to the date.
Councillor Josh Matlow will be hosting an Online Family Day Storytime for Young Families on February 15th at 3 pm live on Facebook with Mabel’s Fables and various authors. For more information, visit www.joshmatlow.ca/storytime.
January 29, 2021
This morning, we launched a new Morning News show. Two of our Grade 3 students anchored the news and shared a special segment recommending a book to everyone. We look forward to including more students in our weekly news show. Interested in being part of the pre-recorded broadcast? Send an email to Ms. Vine.
This week, we brought X Movement to the whole school to support the fitness and well-being of our students. Unfortunately, not all students were able to participate. We will be hosting a new school-wide event with X Movement on Monday, February 1st from 10:30-11:30 a.m. All students are encouraged to participate. When the event ends, students will go straight into lunch and then join their teachers for their regular afternoon program.
Bell Let’s Talk Week
This week, many of our students discussed the importance of mental health. Take a look at how some of our Grade 4s take care of their mental health.
Sick Kids Panel: COVID-19 & Kids — The Sequel
J.R. Wilcox families are invited to join the Mabin School on Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. for a dialogue with Sick Kids Hospital panelists, Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO, Dr. Jeremy Friedman, Paediatrician-in-Chief, and Dr. Michelle Science, Infectious Disease Consultant. They will each share their thoughts on COVID-19 and keeping our children safe during the second wave. All are welcome! Spread the word! Zoom link will be provided closer to the event. The session will be recorded. Sign up here.
Students in Mrs. Rath’s and Ms. Gjoliku’s Grade 7/s class are learning more than the regular math and language curriculum. Each Friday, they prepare food together. Early on in the week, they get a list of ingredients needed and then set to work in their kitchens on Friday morning. Take a look at some of their creations below – from nachos to salad to pizza.
School Council Virtual Activity Night
We’re hosting a FREE virtual activities night with our kids on March 4th and we’d love you to be a part of it!
What is it? A virtual event where we’ll host a number of online workshops. Your family can select which ones they want to take part in
What Are the Events?: Events may include baking, art, music, yoga, chess, tai chi, web design, etc.
What Do We Need: If you – parents and guardians – have a special talent, we need you to lead the virtual class. For example, if you’re a baker, this will involve you choosing an easy recipe and walking the kids through it on zoom on March 4.
The Ask: Let us know if you have a special talent and would like to lead a virtual activity for our kids. Do you love dance? Art? Music? Yoga? Chess? Tai chi? Graphic Design? Web design? Robotics? Want to run a virtual class? Reach out to your class parent or email email@example.com and a member of School Council will confirm next steps.
Family Literacy Day
Family Literacy Day takes place every January 27th to raise awareness about the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. Since 1999, thousands of schools, libraries, literacy organizations and other community groups have taken part in the initiative. ABC Life Literacy Canada creates free learning and promotional resources for anyone that wants to get involved. Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development, improving a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.
Bedtime Story with Ms. Vine
To celebrate Family Literacy Day, join Ms. Vine for a bedtime story on Twitter , on January 27th at 7:00 p.m. Hop into your pjs, and settle in for a story. Together #WeAreWilcox
Bringing Arts and Wellness to You
This week we kicked off some upcoming school wide events with a magic show from Magician Tyler. The show was engaging and fun and he even shared some of his magic so we could become magicians of our own!
In the coming weeks, we will be bringing other artists and experts to provide meaningful experiences for our students. In doing this, we have partnered with our friends at Brown Junior Public School, so not only will our students hear about resilience, engage in fitness, yoga, music and spoken word, they will also connect with students at another Toronto School. We have worked in partnership to coordinate the events and each one connects to our goals in equity, achievement, and well-being.
Food for Kids Grocery Cards
We are pleased to share that the Toronto Foundation for Student Success is again able to support students and their families through the Food for Kids program. This program supplies gift cards for grocery stores. If your family would like to be part of the program, please click here to complete this form. The information you provide will be shared with Ms. Vine and the TFSS only.
Join us this Tuesday, January 26th from 7-8 p.m. for our School Council meeting. Responding to feedback from our recent survey, meetings will be 1 hour in length and the reports will be posted ahead of time so parents/guardians have time to review them. Click here for next week’s agenda and reports. We hope to see parents and guardians from both our virtual and brick-and-mortar families.
Bell Let’s Talk Day
Get ready to join the world’s biggest conversation about mental health on Bell Let’s Talk Day, January 28! Now more than ever, every action counts – On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate more towards mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, social media video view and use of our Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. Messaging volumes directly drive Bell’s donations to Canadian mental health programs at no cost to participants. Visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk to download the Bell Let’s Talk toolkit and other resources.
TDSB families are invited to join in a series of engaging and informative conversations on topics we heard you want to learn more about. Hear from leading experts and participate in question and answer sessions online.
These conversations are jointly hosted by the TDSB’s Parent and Community Engagement Office and the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee.
Saturday, January 30, 2021 @ 11:00 a.m.
How Children Understand Race and How Adults Can Help
Many people avoid discussing race and racism with children because they believe that children don’t see race, or because they’re unsure how to have a conversation about it. Join us to hear from Professor Erin Winkler who will guide parents, families, and educators to help children understand racial identity, racism, and racial inequities in age-appropriate ways that empower the young children in their lives. Click here for more information.
January 16, 2021
With the announcement of the extended school closure, we are continuing to work hard to engage and support all of our students. We are grateful for the feedback we have received and continue to use it to drive us forward.
This week, we moved forward with Week 2 of Remote Learning. We see how hard students, staff and parents/guardians/families are continuing to work to adjust to constantly changing times and new norms. We thank you for your efforts related to this.
We will be putting together some special #WeAreWilcox Events for our students in the coming weeks. Sometimes it will be for the whole school and other times it will be done by division (Kindergarten, primary, junior/intermediate). Our first event is scheduled for this week. On Wednesday January 20th at 1:00 p.m. we are hosting a school-wide magic show with Tyler Fergus, a 3 time Diamond Award winner for Best Family Entertainment and Activities for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
As always, we are always available if you have questions or concerns. Please reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ontario Government COVID Support for Learners
There is one-time funding to support children, youth and students during the 2020-2021 school year. Eligible applicants will receive a one-time payment of:
- $200 for each child or youth up to Grade 12
- $250 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs
You are eligible to apply if you live in Ontario and are a:
- parent or guardian to a child or youth up to Grade 12
- secondary school student over the age of 18
- parent or guardian to a child or youth that is 21 or younger and has special needs
The deadline to apply is February 8, 2021.
J.R. Wilcox is continually striving to improve the ways in which we engage our parents and caregivers. Michelle Munroe is a dynamic speaker and will provide an exciting forum for discussion. Click here to register for the forum.
Grade 7 Extended French Program
Do you have a child in Grade 6? The Grade 7 Extended French program offers students who have successfully completed three years of Core French the option to enter into a more intensive program in Grade 7. These students spend approximately 40% of their day in French classes at the Extended French school. While the TDSB has decided to phase out this program, the last cohort to begin the Grade 7 entry Extended French starts in September 2022. The Grade 7 Extended French program is offered in only 14 schools in the TDSB. The attendance area for an Extended French school is created by “associated” English feeder schools and home address.
For more information about the Grade 7 Extended French program, visit the TDSB site here. The application process is now open. Applications are to be submitted electronically to email@example.com by January 29, 2021. We are hosting a Virtual Information session on January 20 at 6:30pm.The link to the session is here and on the TDSB site.
Grade 8 to 9 Transition
This week, the TDSB is hosting four (4) Grade 8 to Grade 9 Transition Information Sessions for parents/guardians of Grade 8 students that will focus on the Top 10 Tips and Considerations in the Transition to High School process. This presentation will supplement the work already taking place through secondary school virtual open houses and at Grade 8 schools.
Presenters will highlight the key practical aspects of the process of transitioning to high school, as well as share the social-emotional factors that often surface with Grade 8 students as part of this transition.
|Tuesday, December 8, 2020||6 to 7 p.m.||LC1 & LC4 Schools||https://tdsb-ca.zoom.us/s/91822966960||ID: 918 2296 6960 Passcode: 751691||3000|
|Tuesday, December 8, 2020||7:30 to 8:30 p.m.||LC1 & LC4 Schools||https://tdsb-ca.zoom.us/s/93533687339||ID: 935 3368 7339 Passcode: 801414||3000|
To join by phone, please dial +1 647 374 4685 or +1 647 558 0588 and enter the Webinar ID and Passcode.
The webinar will be available for joining 15 minutes before the start time. Families who require an interpreter can request Interpretation Services for the event.
If you are unable to join the live Zoom webinar due to the capacity limit, please watch the YouTube Livestream. Please note that questions can only be posted from the live Zoom webinar.
January 8, 2021
Our first week of remote learning has now come to an end. We appreciate all that parents/guardians have done to support your children in navigating their digital platforms so they were able to connect with their teachers and classmates. We recognize that this has not been an easy task for you while juggling your own responsibilities. Our staff is working hard to adjust to the new expectations of online learning as set out by the Ministry of Education. Teachers are required to take attendance twice a day, much like we do when students are present at school. Students are expected to take part in synchronous (live/online) learning throughout the day and these times must align with the Ministry of Education guidelines:
|Grades 1-3||225 minutes|
|Grades 4-8||225 minutes|
As you know, the Ministry of Education has announced that online learning will continue until January 25th. With the news of this new timeline, our teachers will continue to plan how best to connect and make learning meaningful and engaging for your children. This involves reflecting on what has been working well, chatting with colleagues for tips on best practices, and hearing your feedback.
Our goal is to provide a full learning experience for students for the coming weeks. At the same time, we recognize the challenges that this can present for families. We remain dedicated to supporting all students and ask that you keep in touch with your child’s teachers.
School Council Meeting
Please mark your calendars for our next School Council meeting on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Based on feedback from the parent/guardian survey, the meeting will run for one hour, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. The agenda will be sent to parents next week, along with any reports that will be discussed. We look forward to connecting with you then.
January is Tamil Heritage Month
Tamil Heritage Month is recognized nationally since October 2016, provincially since March 2004 and by the Toronto District School Board since January 2016. The month of January was chosen as it coincides with one of the most important celebrations for Canadians of Tamil heritage, the Thai Pongal harvest festival. Millions of Tamil people around the world irrespective of their religion celebrate Thai Pongal and offer thanks for an abundant harvest.
This year, the chosen theme selected by the volunteer planning committee is உண்மை – உரிமை – ஒற்றுமை: Truth – Rights – Unity. Unmai (உண்மை) recognizes that our lived experiences are our truths and these truths shape our understanding of the world around us. Urimai (உரிமை) examines our right to flourish and shine. Otrumai (ஒற்றுமை) emphasizes our shared lived experiences with other marginalized communities and our shared humanity.
Toronto has the largest Tamil population outside of the South Asian subcontinent with thousands of TDSB students and staff members’ heritage identified as Tamil. The importance of building awareness, creating a strong self-identity and understanding one’s own roots and rights are important objectives of the Tamil Heritage Month volunteer planning committee.
A poster challenge is currently underway, and the TDSB will be posting the two winning designs that reflect this year’s theme in early January. We are proud to share with you this power point that will provide you with information about the Tamil Heritage Month.
A Funny Look at Online Learning from our Grade 7/8 Drama Club
Revised Optional Attendance Procedures for the 2021/2022 School Year
The Toronto District School Board is adjusting the Optional Attendance process due to school closures and the heightened need to reduce potential Covid-19 exposures. Parents/Guardians should have received an email from the TDSB on Friday, January 8th, outlining the revised process. Parents/Guardians are to complete the Optional Attendance form and email the current school principal who will sign and email the completed form to the receiving school. Optional Attendance forms and information regarding can be found here.
December 18, 2020
This week has been a busy one with thoughtful discussions about holidays and health, beautiful art projects, and a special musical presentation for our students and families, both in school and at home. We have ended our 2020 year stronger as a community. We have been recipients of amazing generosity and, at the same time, been able to help people in our own school and the broader community.
This week, the TDSB asked us all to prepare for a possible move to online learning. Today, we distributed devices to families and sent children home with resources. If you received a device, please access our Chromebook Tips for Home Use here. Our goal is to ensure that we are able to resume learning in the best possible way when school resumes on January 4th. We are here to support student learning and well-being.
The staff at J.R. Wilcox wishes all of our families a safe and healthy holiday. We look forward to seeing everyone in the new year.
Covid Safety Episode 3
Today our Morning News show featured a final segment to the COVID-19 Safety Tips. We are so proud of the leadership from our Drama Club in Room 208.
December Hearts & Minds Newsletter from TDSB Psychological Services
December 13, 2020
Preparing for the Winter Holiday
From Monday, December 21, 2020 to Friday, January 1, 2021 (inclusive), all TDSB Schools will be closed for the Winter Break. This Friday, please send your children with an extra bag so that they may take home their indoor shoes and other items they may need over the holidays or beyond. While we are planning to return to school on January 4th, we want to ensure we are prepared should we need to pivot to online learning. Please be sure you have completed the brief survey regarding your child’s access to technology sent to you by your children’s teachers.
Toronto Public Health has asked us to share their Holiday Planning Guide with ideas for us to safely show our holiday spirit and make this season memorable. To learn more about how to celebrate safely during this holiday season, click here.
Covid Safety Episode 2
Our Grade 7/8 Drama Club created a new segment to their COVID-19 Safety Guide. We first aired it on Friday’s Morning News show.
School Council Survey
If you haven’t yet had a chance to complete the School Council survey, it’s not too late to do so. Click here to share your ideas with council around the best time to meet, ideas for events, and more.
December 2, 2020
This week, we were fortunate to be able to host an on-site testing for COVID-19 for students and families who had been asked to self-isolate, as well as interested staff. We also hosted a Q&A with our school social worker and a doctor from Women’s College Hospital to answer questions that families might have. We know that many of you are concerned about the positive cases at J.R. Wilcox. Our school continues to take all measures recommended by Toronto Public Health to keep students and staff safe. As well, this past week, many of our classrooms received air purifiers to assist in the air flow in the rooms.
On Friday, Toronto Public Health updated the Student Screening tool. Students brought home a green paper that explains the new screening and includes the Daily Health Pass. Please review it carefully and be sure to ask your children these questions on a daily basis.
As part of this guidance, if a child has one or more new, or worsening COVID-19 symptoms, parents will now be required to:
- Keep their child home
- Keep siblings and other children home, even if they do not have symptoms
- Arrange for the child to get tested or contact their health care provider
- Without testing, the child must stay home for 10 days
- Monitor the family for symptoms – Adults must stay home if they have one or more symptom
All staff also complete a daily health self-assessment and do not enter the building if they have one or more symptoms.
Check out our Grade 7/8 Students’ Public Service Announcement to remind us all how to be safe at school.
We recently purchased a new subscription to IXL! It’s a great platform for students to work on skills at their own level in math and language. All classes and students have been set up with accounts. Not sure how to access it? Talk to your child’s teacher.
School Council News
Be sure to check out the latest events from our School Council, including our Virtual Book Fair this coming week from Tuesday December 8th to Thursday, December 10th.
Have you stopped by the northeast corner of our school and checked out our Little Free Pantry? Feel free to leave some food items and take some food items.
Did you know we have a Mabel’s Labels fundraiser campaign? 20% of all sales through the school portal are paid directly back to J.R. Wilcox. Go to http://campaigns.mabelslabels.com/ to find the school listing.
There’s a new way to raise money for J.R. Wilcox! Now the school earns between 1%-20%*
when you shop online or buy gift cards. Visit FlipGive.com or download the FlipGive app and use the code 45DBLW. Every time you shop, you will be helping the school raise funds.
Message from our Principal
Please view this short video message from Ms Vine. Then join us tonight from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. for a Q&A with Dr. Suvendrini Lena, from Women’s College Hospital, and our school social worker, Suzy Brotman. We wish to reassure you that it is safe to send your children to school and will be available to answer questions you may have. Please use the link sent to you in today’s email message. We look forward to seeing you tonight.
November 28, 2020
Health and Safety Reminders
This week, while we had our first positive case of COVID-19, we are grateful that all who work at, and attend J.R. Wilcox, are healthy. Steps have been taken to continue to keep everyone safe and some students and staff are self-isolating at home out of precaution and as directed by Toronto Public Health. We must continue to be vigilant and follow all of the guidance set out by Toronto Public Health. As a reminder, please send your children to school with a number of masks so that they can be changed throughout the day. Don’t have spare masks? We’ve got you covered – literally. We’ll be sure to give children masks who need. Please remind your children to stay 2 metres apart from anyone they do not live with. As well, since Toronto is currently in the GREY-LOCKDOWN category, please refrain from having indoor playdates, even with children in your children’s classes.
Did you know that Toronto has a voluntary isolation centre available for individuals living with others who need a free, safe and comfortable space to self-isolate if someone in the household has COVID-19? Visit ow.ly/vfs650CxoAS to learn more.
The results are in from our Snack Program survey created by one of our Grade 8 students. 77 students (33%) completed the survey. 72% of students responded that they felt satisfied and had more energy after they’d eaten the snack. We’ve shared some of our additional data below. This information will also be shared with the company who supplies our food.
We had a wonderful response to our request for volunteers for Class Parents. Parents who have been selected will be contacted this week. We will send out an email to all parents asking if you would like to share your email address with the class parent so that they may build a distribution list for your class. We are still looking for a class parent for JK/SK B (Ms. Haidarali’s class).
Celebrating 100 Years of J.R. Wilcox Community School
We are gathering memories of J.R. Wilcox from the past 100 years. If you have something to include or know someone who might, please share this form with them. The memories shared may be included in a virtual celebration of our 100 year anniversary.
JOIN THE CLASS PARENT COMMUNITY!!
We are seeking 2 volunteers from each class to be this year’s Class Parents. Responsibilities may include:
- Organizing volunteers
- Sending reminders to parents
- Acting as a volunteer coordinator in support of School Council events
- Liaising between the teacher and parents/school council and parents
Note: This job does not require a great time commitment.
This past week, parents/guardians had the opportunity to connect with their children’s teachers around their strengths, areas for growth, and next steps. We recognize that using a virtual format created a different kind of conference, however, learned that for some families it was easier to connect this year. We also recognize that there is not only one way or one prescribed time for parents to connect, so please continue to reach out to staff for updates, progress and how you can continue to support your child at home.
November Hearts & Minds Newsletter from TDSB Psychological Services
211 Ontario helpline
As Toronto heads into another lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, we want to ensure that families have access to all forms of support. Knowing the right number to call will help people find the right services for their situation. 211 is answered live, 24 hours a day, every day of the year including holidays, in more than 150 languages. Residents can call, email, or live chat with 2-1-1 for information on community, social and health services, as well as municipal, provincial and federally funded services like housing, employment and mental health and addiction agencies. Residents can also call 2-1-1 for services like food banks or for the non-emergency police number. Residents should always call 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies or crimes in progress that require police, fire or paramedic services.
Toronto Public Health Update
Principals continue to meet weekly with Toronto Public Health. We take our job of keeping everyone safe very seriously. This week we were reminded about the importance of students wearing masks even when they are outside, if they are closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. Below are some reminders about when to send your child to school, as well as who is considered a close contact.
Parents/guardians and members of the community can now donate to school fundraising initiatives online. If you would like to donate to our school, please visit our School Cash Online site. Select J.R. Wilcox from the drop down menu and indicate the purpose of the donation in the “Message to the school board” field (optional). Donors will automatically receive tax receipts through email for donations $1 and over. For more detailed instructions on making a donation online, please see the step by step instructions.
Friday, November 13, 2020
This week, we came together as a community to reflect on the meaning of Remembrance Day. While our assembly looked different with classes staying in their rooms, we were able to share the experience of remembering with parents and students in the virtual school as well. Many of our classes wrote postcards to veterans or created art to reflect their learning about the day. Below is a glimpse of some of the work our students created.
Please take a moment to review the class list of students/staff anaphylaxis allergies. We aim to be a nut-safe school. Please do not send any products containing nuts in your child’s lunches or snacks. We appreciate everyone’s support in keeping all students and staff safe.
Progress Reports (Grade 1-6) and Initial Observations (JK/SK)
Next week, parents/guardians will receive Progress Report/Initial Observations for their children. This reporting period reflects learning that has occurred in a modified learning environment as required by the provincial public health guidelines. It is important to remember that students’ 2019-2020 school year was halted, leading to a very different March through June. Please know that our focus on supporting student safety and mental health and well-being is a priority this year, along with academic learning and growth. Wherever your child is right now, praise them for their strengths and work with them to support their next steps for growth. We are partners in your child’s education. Please ensure you have scheduled a conference with your child’s teachers for this week. Our teachers are committed to provided ongoing communication with you.
This week, many of our Grade 4 to 8 students participated in outdoor learning with the Toronto Urban Studies Centre. Since our students are not attending field trips, the educators from the centre came to us and helped students make connections between their learning and the environment. Want to learn more about Outdoor Education activities you can do as a family from home? Check out the Learn from Home with Outdoor Ed website.
Did you know School Council has its own page on our website? Check it out and join us this Wednesday, November 18th at 6:30 p.m. for our next School Council meeting. We hope to see our in-school and virtual families there. Click here for the link to our meeting.
Friday, November 6, 2020
This week our new ramp and sidewalk were completed. Parents/Guardians with strollers and people who require barrier free access can now reach the accessible door with ease. We are awaiting TDSB Facilities to come and paint our parking lot with two accessible parking spaces.
Despite the end of week warmth, we had our first bought with cold and snow this year. Masks and cold weather bring extra moisture and students are needing to change their masks more often. Please ensure you send your child with extra masks and wash them regularly. Mittens and gloves also add an extra layer to our routines. Children will still need to sanitize their hands and since they sometimes wipe their noses with mittens/gloves Toronto Public Health reminded us that gloves and mittens need to be washed regularly as well.
On Wednesday, November 11th, students and staff at our schools and across the city will mark Remembrance Day. For Remembrance Day, teachers make connections between global events and students’ lives by promoting peace within our school community. On this solemn occasion, staff, students, parents, and the wider community all join together in a call for peace. Parents/Guardians and Virtual School Families are invited to join us on Google Meet for our Remembrance Day assembly Wednesday, November 11th at 9:15 a.m. Click here for the link. Classes will be encouraged to do their own 2 Minutes of Silence at 11:00 a.m. to reflect, honour, thank and remember our fallen soldiers.
Join us for a virtual Coffee and Conversation Thursday, November 12th at 9:15. This is an opportunity to get to know each other, learn more about the school, and ask questions. Click here for the link on Zoom.
UPCOMING P.A. DAY AND PARENT/GUARDIAN -TEACHER CONFERENCES
Tuesday, November 17th Progress Reports (Grade 1-6) and Kindergarten Initial Observations go home.
Friday November 20th is a P.A. Day. There will be no school for students as teachers will be conducting Parent/Guardian-Teacher conferences. You can expect to hear from your children’s teachers to schedule yours. Conferences this year will take place virtually or by phone.
Virtual School Students:
November 20th will be a regular instructional day for Virtual School Students.
Friday December 4th is a P.A. Day due to Parent/Guardian-Teacher conferences.
Early French Immersion (Senior Kindergarten Entry)
To register for Early French Immersion in Senior Kindergarten – Please visit the application site www.tdsb.on.ca/pars, select the Early Immersion Program (SK) from the drop-down menu, and complete the application process. Deadline for applications: November 27, 2020
Friday, October 30, 2020
Our first School Council meeting was held on Wednesday night and we had a record 31 people in attendance! We had parents/guardians from both virtual school and in-person. Now more than ever, it is so important to all stay connected. We have an enthusiastic council and look forward to a great year together. A complete explanation of council, positions, bylaws and draft minutes of our meeting will be shared with parents/guardians.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 18th from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Early French Immersion (Senior Kindergarten Entry)
Applications to the Early French Immersion program are made the year your child is in Junior Kindergarten (or is of Junior Kindergarten age) for entry in Senior Kindergarten. It is an entirely online process. All communication will be sent via the email address you provide. Please check your email regularly, including junk mail folders.
To register – Please visit the application site www.tdsb.on.ca/pars. You will need your child’s date of birth and OEN. The OEN is a 9-digit number found on any report card from the TDSB. For non-TDSB students, please select the “Non-TDSB Student” option and follow the steps to generate an identification number. You must then return to the PARS site and follow the application procedure with this number. Please select the Early Immersion Program (SK) from the drop-down menu, and complete the application process.
- Application process opens: November 2, 2020
- Deadline for applications: November 27, 2020
For a downloadable version, please click:
Please note: While every effort will be made to place students in the school identified as their area French Immersion school, this is not always possible. In cases where the number of applications in a given area is greater than the number of allotted program spaces in the school, students may be redirected to schools with available program space. Placements are made based on the child’s primary home address of record prior to the application deadline. If the address changes between the application deadline and the fall of the SK year, there is no guarantee of placement in the new area.
November is Indigenous Education Month at the TDSB
In November, we honour Indigenous Education Month at the TDSB. This month reminds us to centre First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, histories and contemporary realities. In classrooms across the TDSB, it is an opportunity to learn about treaties, Indigenous leadership, achievements, and resistance.
Over the course of this month, students, staff and community members recognize a number of important days to deepen knowledge, to learn together about our shared history, and to build stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Learn more at https://www.tdsb.on.ca/News/Article-Details/ArtMID/474/ArticleID/1551/November-is-Indigenous-Education-Month-at-TDSB.
Friday, October 23, 2020
The safety of our students and staff is our top priority and I am incredibly proud of the way in which our school community came together this week to keep each other safe. Thank you to the many parents and guardians who have reached out to staff to share their appreciation.
It’s Fall Spirit Week October 26-30
- Monday HAT DAY
- Tuesday WILCOX DAY – wear your school clothing or our school colours
- Wednesday PYJAMA DAY – no stuffies please
- Thursday BLACK & ORANGE FALL COLOURS
- Friday COSTUME DAY
Thank you to our Grade 7 and 8 leaders who have organized this day for us.
Hallowe’en Costume Day
The final day of our Fall Spirit Week is Costume Day. We recognize that not all students and families choose to observe this celebration and participation is voluntary.
When helping your child choose a costume, please keep in mind:
- Appropriate face coverings for COVID are required
- A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask or face covering and should not be worn over a cloth mask as it may make it difficult to breathe
- All other masks for costumes should be left at home
- Since students are required to wear masks, it is recommended that students not wear costume make-up, from below the eyes to ensure their face coverings are not dirtied
- No replica weapons or additional accessories should be brought to school as part of a costume
- Culture is not a costume – costumes should be fun and creative. Please avoid anything that would demean, stereotype, appropriate, or mock different races, genders, religions or cultures. Click here for a 5 minute video titled, “My Culture is Not a Costume.”
This year it is important that students do not bring Halloween treats to share.
Friday, October 16, 2020
This week, we had a virtual assembly with our Junior and Intermediate students. We focussed on the WE in our #WeAreWilcox hashtag. What makes Wilcox such a great school is the way it brings so many people together. We are a school with students from different races and religions, different neighbourhoods of Toronto, and different needs. We have special programs, such as Extended French, Autism, Learning Disability, Diagnostic Kindergarten and Gifted. We are a microcosm of Toronto and, as such, we have advantages and challenges that go along with that. Students were reminded how to solve problems, how to ask for help, and how to get help for others. In the end, students were given the opportunity to work with me to create a school spirit group. This will be an opportunity for students to lead in a positive way – to come together to create more Wilcox spirit, more good citizenship. I look forward to seeing what our students are capable of doing when they work together. #WeAreWilcox!
Dressing for the Weather
This week, we spent time outside in rainy weather. Most of our students really enjoyed the opportunity to take a mask break and get some fresh air. Many even commented on how much they enjoyed the rain. As a reminder, please be sure to send your children to school with extra clothing and footwear appropriate for the weather.
Start of the Year Permission Forms
An email was sent with Start of the Year Permission forms. Please complete them as soon as possible. The forms provide us with important information about medical concerns, permission for photographs/videos, walking excursions in the neighbourhood and more. Please email the school office if you need the link sent again.
October 13, 2020
TDSB has recently updated their mask guidelines. All students, staff and visitors must wear a mask at all times when indoors, and outdoors when unable to maintain a physical distance of two metres/six feet. Due to the large number of people at school during entry and exit times we are requesting all visitors (including parents/guardians) wear a mask outside. Thank you for your cooperation and support in keeping our school community safe.
October 3, 2020
It is hard to believe we’ve been back in school for three weeks now! Our students have adjusted well to the new routines and procedures we’ve put in place to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Please help to remind your children to keep their masks on at all times (wearing them properly above the nose) and to keep a distance of 2 metres from other students. This continues to be very important.
This week was the deadline to switch between virtual and in-person. TDSB had thousands of students who selected to go virtual for the next date (October 13th). J.R. Wilcox had no one choose to move to the virtual school at this time. We are proud of how hard our staff has been working this year. They have done an EXCELLENT job of making students and families feel safe at school. We are also grateful to you, our families, for the support and encouragement you have given us.