Dear Junior School Parents,
Thank you to the more than 60 families who recently participated in our 3 parent coffee mornings. We hope they provided an opportunity for you to share feedback as we, together, move forward to improve the Junior School experience for your children and our community.
Below is a summary of the feedback from the 3 meetings through the lens of our Compass Points learning engagement. As well, we will be scheduling 2 parent meetings (after conferences) where we will do our very best to answer questions, respond to concerns, offer next steps and celebrate our partnership in your children’s learning journey. Stay tuned for the meeting dates.
Valerie and Struan
NORTH: What info do you Need to know?
- Parents have expressed the desire to know more about personal/human resources issues (eg. extended absences, departing faculty)
- The plan for the current Junior School Leadership team and direction of the school
- What are students learning on a daily basis?
- Want to know more about the Athletics, PSE (Personal Social Education) and PYP programs in the Junior School
- Discipline Policy and Code of Conduct
SOUTH: What Support do you need? From whom?
- Desire for workshops on bullying, the discipline policy/practices, social media and other relevant topics to schools and parenting
- Desire for more social worker support in the Junior School and clarification about the role of the counselor/PSE teacher
- Clear, consistent communication and a clarification of the role of the FLASH, weekly emails from teachers and class parents
EAST: What Excites you about the Junior School?
- Overwhelmingly, parents are very excited about the amazing teachers and staff
- Kids love the school and feel very “at home”
- Excellent support/resources for learning
- International, multicultural and inclusive community
- A very engaged parent community
- Lots of extracurricular activities and athletics
WEST: What are you Worried about?
- Student behaviour - lack of clarity regarding discipline policy, confusion about the role of Think Sheets, inconsistent parent communication, fair and equitable application, are there incidents of bullying in the Junior School?
- Communication - too much or not enough, timely, many sources?
- Parent feedback - would like more opportunities for face time with leadership team
- Are we celebrating our international cultures and traditions? eg. Harmony Concert
- Class size - is the formula meeting the learning needs of students?
- The transition from Junior School to Middle School - are the students ready?
At this time in the year, in order to build further independence, we kindly request that students come upstairs on their own when being dropped off in the morning.
This week in art, students worked on their art history projects. Students chose an artist and an art piece that spoke to them. Then they traced the piece and began to recreate it in their own style.
In french, the students were filmed performing their play this week with their group. The videos of their plays will be available to view in the next few weeks.
Next Friday, February 9th the Junior School will participate in our 3rd annual Mindful Morning. From 8:40 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Grades 1-5 will participate in four different mindful activities. Students will rotate through the stations with their house groups. Students should dress in York School athletic wear for the day.
On February 14th we will be celebrating our 100th day in Grade 1!! It will be a busy day...as we will also be celebrating Kindness Day and Valentine’s Day. Your child is welcome to bring in Valentines for all Grade 1 students. To make it easier you can always address the Valentines as “Dear Friend” but if you want extra printing practise, here are the class lists:
1A: Mason, Liam, Sydney, Christopher, Charlie L, Wren, Charlie M, Elijah, Shiraz, Alice, Harlowe, Ryan, Phenix, Grant, Elizabeth, Temmy.
1B: Brooklyn, Chloe, Iago, Martin, Whitney, Ben, Sri, Molly, Richard, Seven, Ethan, Ridley, Lisa, Andrew, Liam, Mia, Cadel
UOI Learning Celebration
The students have been working so hard to learn all about their habitat. This week the students are building miniature models of their habitat, and next week they would love for you to come and see what they have been up to! If you've always wanted to know more about the ocean, grasslands, wetlands, etc., then we invite you to our Learning Celebration on February 8th at 1:15 pm. The celebration will be held in both Grade 1 classrooms. We hope to see you there!!
India - Global Pathways School Donation Drive
This week we will be kick starting our India donation drive (clothes and toys). Bins will be placed by fireplace in the Gathering Place for donation drop off. Please take a look at our "wish list" link below. This list will also be posted in each classroom and communicated in the FLASH for the next few weeks.
In French, next week, the students will be filming the play, La poule Maboule. The students will be needing some props such as a wolf and a cat costume or accessories. If you happen to have such items at home, we could appreciate borrowing them for a few days. Merci!
On February 7th or 13th, students in Grade 1 to 5 will be participating in Student-centred conferences. A Student-centred conference differs from the traditional Parent-Teacher interview as the student is present at and is an active participant. The focus of the conference is on student goal setting in order to support learning. During the Student-centred conference, each participant - teacher, student, parent - have a specific role. The teacher facilitates the discussion and the student and parent are encouraged to contribute. A Student-centred conference should focus on recognising and celebrating the progress that a student has made in his/her learning and to identify the next steps that need to be taken, within a supportive environment. Parents should be aware that the priority of Student-centred conferences is to focus on discussing student’s progress in ways which motivate and encourage the child in his/her future learning. Finally, a Student-centred conference is not intended to be a rehearsed ‘performance’ by the student, but a genuine conversation that encourages objective and realistic discussion of the student’s learning progress.
A reminder that students in Grades 1 to 5 need to present with parents at all conferences with homeroom and specialist teachers.
Circulation Policy for Junior School Students
Great Canadian Skating Afternoon
The JK- grade 2 classes will be going on a trip to Ramsden Park on Thursday, February 15th for our annual skating afternoon. We will be departing from school at 1:00 pm and returning at approximately 3:00 pm. You have been sent the VO form, that can be accessed on YorkNet. Please be sure to sign into your YorkNet account to submit the permission form no later than Monday, February 5th. Students are to come to school that day dressed in their grey York School sweatpants and sweatshirt. As well, your child must have the appropriate winter clothing, such as snow pants, hats and mittens. Please note, there are no skate rentals available at the rink and that a hockey or a ski helmet are mandated by the City of Toronto. If you would like to volunteer please let your child’s homeroom teacher know.
Junior School Pancake Breakfast - REGISTER NOW!
We are thrilled to host a Pancake Breakfast, hosted by The York School Parents’ Association (YPA) on February 22nd and 23rd.
Students are invited to bring a family member or friend to join them for a pancake breakfast at the school. Please RSVP to one of the four seatings below.
February 22 - 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. or 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
February 23 - 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. or 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
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