Happy New Year! We hope that your holidays were healthy and restful and that the virtual start to the school year is going as smoothly as possible for all of your households.
Our committee wanted to express our gratitude to the endless list of people that supported the creation and maintaining of our outdoor learning infrastructure in the fall.
Parents and supporters:
secured — and hauled! — tree stumps
sourced milk crates, as well as helping to clean them, and set them up on a daily basis
loaned (and repaired!) shade covers
loaned and hauled sand bags
cleaned, prepped and painted our outdoor teacher writing walls including materials donations from both parents and High Park Paints
arranged for infrastructure including clipboards and seat cushions for students and voice amps for teachers
advocated for expanded, adaptable policies around outdoor learning within the TDSB as part of a COVID-19 response, and supported other school communities curious about our process.
Teachers and school administration:
supported outdoor learning as an essential part of keeping our community healthy
adapted their lesson plans and modelled adaptability for the students
communicated flexibly with volunteers to ensure the systems were working for everyone.
The army of volunteers can’t all be named, partly because we never even got everyone’s name, esp the kindie parents who frequently stacked crates after 2:45pm! But this wouldn’t have happened so far without dozens and dozens, so thank you all.
And we’re not done! Whenever we get back to in-person learning, the administration has confirmed they support outdoor learning resuming immediately! Please consider helping out if you are not doing so already. Not everyone who has been working so hard these past months is available going forward, and we can always use more support. As a general rule, volunteers join one of four crews, and then sign up for several shifts (set-up or take-down) one week out of every four. Here’s a sign up link: https://signup.com/go/NztHeWQ And please feel free to reach out with any questions (via katelawrie [at] gmail.com).
Thank you again, Howard. Our community’s commitment to this common-sense initiative has been extraordinary,
2-4 pm: IN PERSON AT HOWARD SCHOOL GROUNDS (one of the 24 schools across Toronto’s West End participating in this action)
***************1 PM JOIN US (over ZOOM) FOR OPENING :: TEACHING ***************
Our sincere gratitude to Joey Twins who is leading us in opening our action at 1pm at Queen Victoria PS. Joey Twins is a respected member of the Indigenous community and has graciously offered her guidance and time to lead our action. Please join us here on zoom at 1pm on Friday June 4th 2021.The link below allows you to register for this free event.
Stop by Howard PS TOMORROW, June 4 between 2pm and 4:30pm to tie a ribbon, write a message in chalk and show your commitment to taking further actions of reconciliation.
One week after 215 children’s remains were found buried at the former Kamloops Residential School on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory, we as a community want to gather to mourn and honour all of those children who are missing and have been murdered. Indigenous peoples have been telling us for years that a much larger number of children were murdered and harmed at residential schools across the country. By gathering to mourn we can also acknowledge the generations of First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and communities who have been impacted by residential schools and ongoing colonization and genocide.
On Friday June 4, a number of communities in Parkdale, High Park and Toronto’s West End are tying 215 orange ribbons on the fence at their schools and leaving messages of support, love and commitment to decolonization in chalk on the sidewalk.
While this event is meant to remember the lives of the 215 children murdered at the Kamloops Residential School, it should serve as a catalyst for our communities to participate in the decolonization and reconciliation that First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities have been calling for. As a community we will commit to reconciliation and ending genocide.
Stop by Howard JPS on June 4 between 2pm and 4:30pm to tie a ribbon, write a message in chalk and show your commitment to taking further actions of reconciliation. Before attending, please consider which of the calls to action you will commit to. A list of suggestions and resources can be found in this comprehensive list (thanks to Alex Mlynek of Perth JPS for putting this PDF together).
Ribbons will be provided by volunteers but bring your own chalk if possible.
Please remember to wear a mask and keep 2 metres apart from other people outside your family.
Participating families and carers from the following school communities:
Carleton Village Junior and Senior P.S
City View Alternative Senior P.S
Fern Avenue Junior and Senior P.S
Garden Avenue Junior PS
Grove Community School
Holy Family Catholic School
Howard Junior P.S (Thank you Midori Miyamoto from the Equity Committee for coordinating!)
Indian Road Crescent Junior and Senior P.S
Parkdale Junior and Senior P.S
Perth Avenue Junior P.S
Queen Victoria P.S
Shirley Street Junior P.S
St Cecilia Catholic School
St Vincent de Paul Catholic School
Sunnylea Junior P.S
Swansea Junior and Senior P.S
The Grove Community School
Western Technical Commercial School
For survivors of residential schools and their families, the Indian Residential School Survivors Society offers counselling support. Call:
or call the national 24/7 Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419