Northern Secondary School

January 26th, 2024

Thursday, February 08, 2024 12:58 PM

Dear Northern Families,

Good Afternoon. Congratulations to students who have now completed their exams, and good luck to those with one more to write Monday. A reminder that Monday is a day 1 period 4 exam. You can find an updated and (hopefully) more user friendly exam schedule here: Exam Schedule The schedule follows this format:


Next Week’s Schedule:

Monday: Exams Day 1, Period 4 @10am

Tuesday: No School

Wednesday: Exam Review Day

Period 1- 9:00-9:45

Period 2- 9:50-10:35

Period 3- 10:40-11:25

Period 4- 11:30-12:15

PM- Credit Rescue by teacher invitation only.

Thursday: PD Day

Friday: First Day of Semester 2 (Day 2!) Timetables coming via email by Wednesday


Some Final Exam Reminders:

ALL exams will begin at 10am.  Exam duration will vary by subject/ year.  Looking ahead, students should make sure they eat a good breakfast as they will eat a “late” lunch on these days once exams are over (late relative to our usual 11:40am lunchtime).

Please take some time to look through our Exam ReadiNSS site for information and resources.  More information will be added as the January exams approach – including some in person exam preparation sessions provided by our student services and special education!

Transition Days: January 30th has no exams scheduled. Students may be approached by their teacher to complete work on this day. January 31st is an attendance taking day. We will do exam review with students in the morning and students will engage in credit rescue with teachers by invitation in the afternoon. February 1st is a PD Day, and Semester 2 starts February 2nd.

CULMINATING TASKS AND EXAMS Culminating activities and examinations carry the same importance and the same attendance requirement. Thus, attendance during culminating activities is mandatory. Some courses have culminating activities that take place over several days. Thus, attendance during culminating activities/summative evaluations is mandatory. A culminating activity is the final evaluation in each course which is worth 30% of the final mark. “This evaluation will be based on evidence from one or a combination of the following: an examination, a performance, an essay and/or another method of evaluation suitable to the course content” (p.41-Growing Success). Students who miss culminating activities or summative evaluations will be given a mark of zero for the portion missed with no opportunity to make up the missed work unless there is an extenuating and documented circumstance, such as a medical situation, court date, funeral etc. It is absolutely crucial that students do not miss any time during the end of a semester. Under Ministry of Education and TDSB regulations, there can be no accommodations made for students who miss the 30% culminating activities and summative evaluations at the end of a semester for personal reasons such as vacation or work. Students and parents should be aware that scheduled vacations at this time can significantly impact student achievement. With the exception of a medical emergency, all summative tests and assignments that are missed as a result of these absences will be assigned a mark of zero.

Student Success:

Credit Rescue - “Complete, Not Repeat”

Credit rescue will be running January 30th from 9am-3:15pm for students who have a mark between a 40-49%. Your child's teacher will inform you if they will be invited to this day. Please also look out for communication from April Vibert. You may receive multiple emails if your child is invited to recover more than one course. Thank you!



EQAO Results

Grade 9 Math

All students enrolled in grade 9 Math during semester 1 will received their Math EQAO Individual Reports on Wednesday January 31st during their scheduled math class.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test – OSSLT

All students who wrote the OSSLT in November 2023 will be able to pick up their OSSLT EQAO Individual Reports on Wednesday January 31st in the Auditorium between 12:15 – 12:45.

In the event students are not able to obtain their results during these scheduled times student can go to the Vice-Principal Office during lunch or after school Friday February 2nd.


ELL Parent/Guardian Options Potluck – Course Selections 2024

ELL Parent/Guardian Options Potluck – Course Selections 2024

Our ESL & Guidance departments are hosting a potluck event on Thursday, February 15th, 6:00 - 8:00 PM. Please join us for an information session on Course Selection, graduation requirements and more. Bring a small amount of food (appetizer, main dish or desert) to add to our potluck table if you wish. ELL Parents/Guardians and their students are invited and encouraged to come for this informative and helpful event.

We hope to see you there!

Please RSVP through this Options Potluck Google Form or email


King Charles III Award:

Congratulations to our Head Buddies! Northern Head Buddies are the proud recipients of the King Charles III award for excellence in sports/community service. Well Done!


School Council:

1. Walking Buddies - Saturday, January 27th - 9:30-10:30 am Join other Northern parents for some fresh air, exercise, and conversation about school, kids, and life! Email for more details.

2. AI in One Lesson - Parent Edition - Wednesday, February 7th - 8:00-9:00 pm The Gifted Advisory Committee is pleased to invite all Northern families to this virtual presentation where we will explore why generative AI has exploded recently and where it is headed. We will also explore strategies that you can use to leverage AI as a parent (and help your kids learn about it too). Please note that this presentation will not be recorded. Please register here. The link will follow on the day of the presentation.

3. Call For Volunteers. NSS Council wants to hear from you! All of our committees welcome your input and support.
Committees welcoming volunteers include the following:

  • Academic Resource Committee
  • Education Committee
  • ELL Parent Engagement
  • Fundraising Committee
  • Gifted Advisory Committee
  • Social Committee
  • Website Committee

If you are interested in participating in any of these committees, please send and email to


17th Annual Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) Conference

This year’s PIAC conference is dedicated to empowering School Councils through leadership, support, and advocacy. Join PIAC for a day of insightful discussions, collaborative learning, and celebration of the crucial role School Councils play in the success of schools, children, and the community.

Date: Saturday, February 3, 2024

Time: 10 am - 3 pm

Venue: Earl Haig Secondary School

To join us, please register here.


Battle of the Bands:

Northern’s first ever battle of the bands will be after school on Wednesday March 27th! Anyone can sign up to compete for a performance opportunity at our end of year concert! See our POSTER. Check out Instagram for all the details or sign up at


Attention Graduates!!

Graduation photos will take place on February 12 and 13th. Please book an appointment online following the link and steps below:

Click “Classic Sitting”

Choose date and time of your liking, click “confirm and pay now”

Enter student, contact and billing information and click “confirm and pay”

**Props will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own to personalize your session. Additional props could include- an old school photo, a small item that shows of your personality or an interest. If you would like to take a casual photo, please bring an additional outfit/top.

**Please come prepared in a white collared shirt or blouse and tie.

**A black graduation gown, sash and graduation cap will be available.

**Your confirmation email will confirm the location of your photo session.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Northern Math Contest:

Registration is open for the University of Waterloo - Pascal, Cayley, and Fermat Contests.

Students will write on Wednesday, February 28th at 9:00 a.m.
The registration fee for the contest is $7.
More information is available at

If your student is interested in writing please have them join the Google Classroom using code kzwovat and register before Monday, February 5th.


Guidance Updates:

  1. Guidance Week-in-Review: This week was full of exam support, course selection planning and semester 2 planning.

Guidance Week Ahead: Checkout the “Exam Wellness” section of the Exam ReadiNSS site. Instead of wishing you good luck on your exams, we wish you “good exam prep” and “good sleeping and eating”!

  1. Semester 2 Course Change Request REMINDER: there are VERY specific criteria for any Semester 2 timetable changes. See below:

Criteria for Requesting a Semester 2 Timetable Change:

  1. You are eligible to drop a course and will take a spare.
  2. You are missing a compulsory course or a graduation requirement (i.e. English, Math, Science).
  3. You are in grade 11 or 12 and are changing post-secondary pathways. For example, you have three Science courses, but have decided to not study Science in post-secondary.
  4. You do not have a full timetable: Grade 9 & 10 = 8 courses; grade 11 = 7 courses; grade 12 = 6 courses.

Please note: We will not be able to accommodate all timetable requests. Thank you for your understanding. Please see your guidance counsellor with any questions.

  1. NSS Course Selection Overview: Mark Your Calendars!
  2. Evening Course Selection Presentation for NSS Community– Thursday, February 8, 2024 6:00pm – 7:00pm – Link TBA
  3. Graded Live-Stream In-Class Course Selection Presentations:
  4. Tuesday, February 6/24 Period 2 – Grade 9 Course Selection Presentation
  5. Wednesday, Feb. 7/24 Period 1 – Grade 10 Course Selection Presentation
  6. Thursday, February 8/24 Period 2 – Grade 11 Course Selection Presentation
  7. Friday, February 9/24 Period 1 – Grade 12 Course Selection Presentation
  8. NSS Course Selection Fair – EXTENDED LUNCH Friday, February 9, 2024.
  9. myBlueprint OPENS: Monday, February 5, 2024

myBlueprint CLOSES: Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

  1. TDSB eLearning Semester 2: Registration CLOSES February 22nd, but all courses are now waitlisted.

For more information and course offerings click here.

  1. **NEW** Night School offering:

Black Student Leadership Program - Black Studies Course Politics in Action Making Change

Mondays & Wednesdays February 12, 2024 - June 10, 2024 6:30pm - 9:30pm (Virtually)

This course will critically examine Blackness within the Canadian context. Students enrolled in this course will learn about the historical and present-day experiences of Black-Canadian changemakers who have, and are currently, transforming the socio-political and socio-economic landscape at the local and national level. Throughout this course, students are encouraged to build a positive racial identity while they practice critical self-reflection. Students will leave this course with a strong understanding of how best they can impart and impact change in their communities locally as well as globally.

View flyer and register here or at

  1. The Study and Go Abroad and School Finder Fairs are coming together to offer you even more study options. Check out the Canadian pavilion for local and out-of-province universities and colleges. Explore the International pavilion to meet with institutions from around the world, including the UK, US, Australia, Switzerland, France, Belgium etc. Don’t forget to visit the Travel Zone for work abroad, internships, immersive language travel and volunteering.
    When? Where?
    Sunday, March 3, 2024
    Fair Times: 1 pm – 5 pm
    Free Seminars: 12 noon – 5 pm
    Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building
    Constitution Halls 105/106
    255 Front Street West, Toronto, On
    For more information, visit
  2. University of Toronto Outreach Opportunities:
    STEAM Design:
  • Program Dates: July 2 - 26, 2024
  • The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Design Program is an experiential learning program with an equity focus, as it is designed for grades 10-12 students identifying with groups that are underrepresented in health sciences (i.e. Black, Indigenous, Filipino, Latin American, racialized, and/or from any background experiencing socio-economic barriers)
  • Click here to APPLY


  • Program Dates: July 8 – August 2, 2024
  • Blueprint is an academic enrichment program designed for highly motivated Black students interested in science and engineering. Blueprint is open to students currently in Grades 10 and 11, and are interested in careers in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math).
  • Click here to APPLY
  1. IMPORTANT Volunteering Information:

PLEASE NOTE: Events and activities supporting a not-for-profit initiative are approved. If you are unsure if your activities supports a not-for-profit program, please see your Guidance counsellor for approval of the volunteering initiative.

For more information about the TDSB’s policy on Volunteering, click here.

  • for volunteering information and opportunities, please visit your Guidance Google classroom or

You can find the TDSB Community Involvement form here.

  1. Post Secondary Updates:
    1. Do you have questions about how to access accommodations at your post-secondary school? This chart lists each university's policy/needs around what is required to get accommodations:
    2. NSS Post-Secondary Individual School Lunch Visits 2023/24
    3. NSS Post-Secondary Guide is here!
  2. Scholarship Information:
    1. NSS Scholarship Information Chart 2023/2024 where Northern-specific scholarship information and deadlines can be found (along with other common awards).
    2. Seeking Scholarships has released their November Scholarship Report which has upcoming scholarship dates listed for students applying to post-secondary programs. It also has some great tips this month for writing scholarship essays

Northern students, teachers, and families can access from this link using the password, scholar58:

Please note: This resource is copyrighted and only available to Northern families - please do not share outside of the Northern community.

  1. Online Graduation Requirement – Information and Opt-Out Form

Looking for information about the new Ontario Ministry Online Learning graduation requirement? Please click here

Overview Info:

  • applies only to students who entered Grade 9 on or after September 1, 2020.
  • Students may withdraw/opt out of this new requirement and graduate with an OSSD
    • if you have decided now to withdraw from the graduation requirement, please complete the TDSB Opt Out/Withdrawal Form and return it to your Guidance Counsellor.


Have a great weekend!

Adam Marshall


Follow me @PrincipalNSS