Northern Secondary School

February 16th, 2024

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 09:03 AM

Dear Northern Families,

We had a short week and now a change to re-group with a long weekend. Today all staff chose PD to participate in, rather than having it school-based. Tons of great choices were available so I look forward to hearing about them.

We want to wish all our Northern families a Happy Family Day weekend, with whomever you call family!

Trustee Rachel Chernos Lin is hosting Ward 11 COMMUNITYCOFFEE In-Person on Wednesday, February 28 at Leaside Longo’s Loft (upstairs kitchen) located at 99, Laird Drive in the Leaside Village Plaza beginning at 9:30am – 11:00am.


Things to Know for Next Week:

Monday: Family Day- No School!

Tuesday: Caring and Safe Schools Meeting @4pm

Wednesday: Late Start @9:55am

Thursday: African Heritage Month Assembly

School Council Meeting @6:30pm (details below)

Friday: International Sign Language Day



Any students interested in learning how to sign O' Canada in American Sign Language (ASL) should fill out this form! Our goal is to sign the anthem during the graduation ceremony. We look forward to meeting everyone!



Therapy Dogs for February WellNSS Wednesday! Are you in need of a mid-week pick me up? Have you noticed the winter seeming long and boring? Would you like some doggy snuggles??

Come all dog lovers - wellNSS is excited to announce that therapy dogs will be visiting us at Northern in the North gym at lunch on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Please come out to enjoy this wellness activity and bring your friends!


Ski & Snowboard Team:

Congratulations to all Alpine Ski and Snowboard team athletes for a great season and strong results at the City Championships.

Astoria Yen placed 1st overall, helping lead the Girl's Snowboard team to a 3rd place finish and OFSAA qualification.

In Alpine Skiing, Jillian Deeks placed 2nd in Open Slalom and GS events, qualifying for OFSAA as an individual.

Great work to all skiers and snowboarders!



Congratulations to Northern SS's Symphonic Band for receiving a Silver Award for their performance in the Ontario Band Association 22nd Annual Provincial Band Festival last week. This is a band ensemble that started two years ago under the direction of Ms. Peng. This year is their first appearance at a band festival, and we are very proud of their growth as an ensemble. We want to thank all music students for their strong commitment and teamwork in the music community at Northern.


TDSB Student Trustee Elections:

Campaigning for the 2024-25 TDSB Student Trustee Elections has begun. We have over forty students running for two Student Trustee positions. The role of the Student Trustees is to speak on behalf of TDSB students during Board meetings.

The first general Election Day is February 20. Students will receive an email directing them to a ballot where they will be able to make two Student Trustee selections. The top ten vote recipients will move to a runoff round, ending with a runoff election day on February 28. Students will receive more instructions on the runoff round in the coming weeks.

Please encourage students to visit the candidates’ campaign video webpage. Each candidate has developed a thirty second campaign video that will help students get to know them.


Special Education- Parent Engagement Session:

Special Education and Inclusion is pleased to offer our second engagement session for parents/guardians/caregivers this year. We ask that you please share the flyers below with the families in your school.

Morning Session – March 5th Flyer

FLYER Parent Session March 5th AM Session.pptx - Google Slides

Evening Session – March 6th Flyer

FLYER Parent Session March 6th PM Session.pptx - Google Slides


Lets Connect About Mental Health and Well Being Webinar Series

Please join us on February 22, 2024, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm:

Lets Connect About Mental Health and Well Being Webinar Series: Parent Voices-Creating fun opportunities to connect and boost positive mental health, joy and happiness. (flyer)

Audience: Students, families, parents, guardians, caregivers, and staff are all welcome!

Members from our Mental Health and Well-being Parent Partnership Committee will add their voices on the importance of exploring fun activities for positive mental health and wellness. In addition, please come and enjoy break out rooms, which will be co-led by Professional Support Staff and community partners, in different ways we can enhance overall mental health and wellness.



To any students who believe the name that may appear in the yearbook under their student portrait is not their preferred name, please fill out this name change request form:

The deadline to fill out this form is February 20, 2024. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our editors at and, or our staff advisor at


Northern Secondary School Foundation

What would Hollywood do without Northern Grads?

They make a reel difference! Congratulations to

Jonas Bell-Pasht NSS’99 Executive Producer of the Netflix Mini-series - How to Become a Mob Boss

Alex Ogus NSS’88 Director of the Award winning film ‘One’

Goh Iromoto NSS’01 for his Emmy nomination [2023] for Outstanding Commercial: Forever -the Farmers Dog

Patrick O’Keefe NSS’88 Art Director for his Oscar Nomination [2024] for Spiderman Across the Spider-Verse

For more information contact


Webinar Wednesdays

The Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement is hosting its second session of the 2023 - 2024 Webinar Wednesdays series. The aim of this virtual series is to provide space for Black parents and caregivers, and families raising Black children to support their children’s success, academic achievement and overall well-being as they transition from high school.

Through collaborations with various post-secondary institutions, the Webinar Wednesdays series shares information and resources on various topics, including, but not limited to graduation and post-secondary pathways.

  1. session, we focus on Pathways to Skilled Trades. Join us as we learn more about the various pathways and apprenticeship programs.

Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Time: 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration link:


School Council:

1. School Council meeting - Thursday, February 22nd at 6:30 pm. School Council meets in the Northern Secondary School Library. We are looking forward to seeing you in person or on the screen - the meeting will be hybrid. If you would like to attend virtually, please email us at with the subject line "School Council Meeting Link." The link will be sent by 5 pm the day of the meeting. Documents for the meeting can be found here.

2. Ask Adam The Principal's update is an important part of every school council meeting. If you have a question about something that is happening at Northern, please submit your question to with "Ask Adam" in the subject line.

3. Walking Buddies - Saturday, February 24th - 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.

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

5. Free Parent Resources. Please visit our website for a list of free parent resources. Resources about self-harm and financial literacy are now posted. All members of the Northern community are welcome to share upcoming events that might be of interest to the parent community by sending an 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


Guidance Updates:

  1. Guidance Week Ahead: Check out our 2024-2025 Course Selection Google Info Site with tons of info about electives, myBlueprint How-tos, course selection works sheets, and more!
  2. Guidance Week-in-Review: Course Selection! Student Services looks forward to talking with students, supporting their ideas and helping find the right answer to their questions! If you missed our Evening Course Selection Presentation you can find the recording here. Want to check out the slideshow only? Find it here.
  3. NSS Course Selection Overview: Mark Your Calendars!
  • myBlueprint OPENS: Monday, February 5, 2024
  • myBlueprint CLOSES: Wednesday, February 28, 2024.
  • Please note: Parent Approval MUST be confirmed through myBlueprint by Feb 28, 2024.
  • Students: book appointments with your guidance counsellor
  • 2024-2025 Course Selection Google Info Site with tons of info about electives, myBlueprint How-tos, course selection works sheets, and more!
  1. Reminder: All students need to be enrolled in their graded Guidance Google Classroom to be sure they do not miss important information throughout the year
  • Grade 9 Google Classroom code: x6sh4ue
  • Grade 10 Google Classroom code: 4ixv2jl
  • Grade 11 Google Classroom code: kmv6fcz
  • Grade 12 Google Classroom code: twdxca6
  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.
  • 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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

  • Blueprint

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.
  • Students: 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. 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 long weekend!

Adam Marshall


Follow me @PrincipalNSS