Northern Secondary School

February 2nd, 2024

Thursday, February 08, 2024 12:59 PM

Dear Northern Families,

Congratulations to everyone on completing semester 1! Report cards will be distributed electronically next Wednesday February 7th.

In case you missed it the PD Day Scheduled for April 19th has been rescheduled to April 8, 2024.

A reminder that Friday February 16th is PD Day (no school) and Monday February 19th is Family Day (no school).


Things to Know for Next Week:

Monday- Friday: Black History Month Events (see below)

Tuesday- Friday: Course selection presentations IN CLASS! (Gr 9 Tues, Gr 10 Wed etc)

Wednesday: 6 -8 p.m. Gifted Advisory Committee Meeting

Thursday: Evening Course Selection Presentation for NSS Community @6:00pm –

Friday: NSS Course Selection Fair – EXTENDED LUNCH Friday, February 9, 2024.


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.


2022-2023 Yearbooks- FINAL Call:

Attention Students: This is the final call to pick up yearbooks from the 2022-2023 school year.

WHEN: Monday, Feb 5, 2024 to Friday, Feb 9, 2024

WHERE: Principals Office

WHO: See Danielle Trotto or Anshu Verma


Black History Month:

Happy Black History Month! This year, BlackNSS is proud to present a month-long celebration filled with enriching cultural experiences. Our theme? 'A Love Letter to Black Culture.'

We're kicking things off with a Spirit Week you won't want to miss:

  • Monday: Show your support by wearing colors that represent Black History Month.
  • Tuesday: Jersey Day! Sport a jersey from your favorite black athlete.
  • Wednesday: Dress up or accessorize to represent your favorite black artist.
  • Thursday: Throwback Thursday! Wear something that represents black culture from the past.
  • Friday: Represent Your Culture Day! Come to our photo booth and show off your unique culture.

Join us in making this month truly memorable!


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


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.


Review of Legacy Technical and Commercial Boundaries:

As part of the Long-Term Program and Accommodation Strategy, the TDSB aims to address outdated technical and commercial boundaries that exist in certain areas of the city.

These outdated boundaries were established during a time of academic-vocational streamlining, but now hinder equity of access. The Board is proposing the dissolution of these legacy boundaries by September 2025 to provide equal access to all Toronto students.

The affected schools include Central Technical School, Central Toronto Academy, Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, Northern Secondary School, Victoria Park Collegiate Institute, and Western Technical-Commercial School. The proposed changes would not affect current programs. 

I encourage you to attend public engagement opportunities, which are scheduled for mid-January 2024 through three virtual meetings, details of which will be provided before the winter break.

For more information, please visit the Boards’ Secondary Program Review which can be found here:

A webpage dedicated to the review of legacy technical and commercial boundaries can be found here:


School Council:

1. 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.

2. Walking Buddies - Saturday, February 10th - 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.

3. Future Career Pathways in Science/Technology: Virtual Discussion for Parents/Families - Tuesday, February 13th, 7:00-8:00 pm

York Mills CI School Council is hosting an informal virtual Q&A session on Tuesday, February 13 from 7-8pm dedicated to exploring post-secondary possibilities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. It is for parents of high school students, particularly those in grades 10 and 11 who are deciding on their courses for next year. The goal is to help families see a clearer connection between high school math, science, and technology courses and future possibilities. Panelists will include engineering students from Waterloo and Queen's and a University of Toronto physics student and software developer. Please register here. A link will be emailed the day of the event.

4. 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


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 Ahead: COURSE SELECTION! See info below
  2. 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
  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. Scholarship Information:

Seeking Scholarships has released their February 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. NSS Scholarship Information Chart 2023/2024 where Northern-specific scholarship information and deadlines can be found (along with other common awards).
  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!
  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