After 18 months of the pandemic, which offered very little in the way of normal life for high school students, North Toronto is finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With a return to some extra-curricular activities, clubs and sports, the school is certainly buzzing, albeit more quietly than usual, and NT students are getting back to the things they love.
In athletics, the girls field hockey team was back in action, with practices almost daily and a near perfect record in their games. Intramurals featured prominently as well, allowing students to play competitively amongst classmates in soccer and ultimate frisbee. The winter intramural season is starting up, with volleyball and badminton beginning in early December.
Welcome back to a new year of school at NT where lots of changes are taking place. Alongside the new schedules and the transition back to in-person classes, the NT community also has a new individual to give a delightful welcome to. Let NT warmly welcome Dr. Jane Lee, the first-ever female principal in the history of North Toronto C.I. With Mr. Mack retiring, Dr. Lee is stepping into the role and responsibilities of being NT’s principal. Previously Vice Principal of A.Y. Jackson Secondary School in the North York district, Dr. Lee now joins the NT community with warm regards.
We pause on November 11th each year to remember. To mark the end of the First World War in 1918, and to honour the people who have served and continue to serve Canada in times of war, conflict, and peace.
A North Toronto student reveals what goes on when the camera’s off during a virtual class.
I can almost guarantee that every student has heard teachers say, “when I can’t see your faces, it feels like I’m speaking into a void,” pretty much every single day in class since the start of school in September.
Approximately 1,500 masks were delivered to North Toronto last month for students and the 2020 grads. The masks are a gift from the NTCI Foundation, which recognized the NT community needed a little boost in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The limited edition red and grey masks were produced by Soft-Masks, which is owned and operated by NT alumnus and Foundation board member Lisa Cain (’82) and her business partner Sue Fisher (’84). The masks, which are hand sewn in Canada, feature high quality adjustable elastics and are made from 100% cotton fabric.
This is a historic time for staff and students at North Toronto.
Many of the events and rites of passage that we took for granted are not happening. Iconic events like Maytime Melodies, the prom, track and field season, athletic banquet, face-to-face student council election campaigns and voting, graduation ceremonies, and end of school parties are all not possible. Staff have had to quickly engage students in different modes of learning while still coping with their own personal lives.
Purchase a limited-edition NT mask for $20 at https://soft-masks.ca/ntci and $7 from every purchased mask will be donated to the Foundation. In addition, 20% of sales from all other masks purchased from Soft-Masks by NT alumni or friends of NT between November 16 and December 16 will be donated to the Foundation.
Hail North Toronto! was a key feature of this year’s Red & Grey Day, NT’s annual celebration of athletics and school spirit. This year, each home form picked a theme to celebrate, then decorated their classroom and dressed up according to that theme. Each class sang the school song, and the different versions were then pulled together into two (mostly) spirited videos. Follow along with students in grades 9 and 12 and grades 10 and 11.
October 10 also featured assemblies, a hot dog BBQ lunch, and a performance from the school band. Of course, the day’s main attraction was a packed sports schedule, with students being dismissed early to watch different teams play throughout the day. A great day for NT sports, as the school won or tied every game: two field hockey, two boys volleyball, girls ultimate, girls basketball, boys soccer, and a football game.
This time of year, the
office staff of NTCI is busy collecting applications from potential future NTCI
Alumni–grade 8 students who would like to spend their next four years at North
Toronto. This is nothing new as each year hundreds of applications are received
from students out of the North Toronto catchment area.
While students who are
“in-district” (i.e. within the catchment area boundaries), are able to simply
select North Toronto, those “out-of-district” must apply, even if they are just
across the street from an in-district student. To date, the out-of-district
applicants from NT’s feeder schools (Deer Park, Glenview and Hodgson) or those with
siblings at NTCI have automatically been accepted; the remaining applications
are at the mercy of a lottery for placement.
It is ironic that in
2003, when the old NT building was being considered for demolition, the TDSB
considered NTCI as a good candidate for rebuilding as it was on the TTC line
and would allow out-of-district students, specifically those from the former
North York, to attend easily. At that time, it was the norm that over two
thirds of the school population came from out-of-district, having won their
place at NTCI through the lottery process. In 2009, there were 600 applications
for 270 places.
Today, the tables have
turned. As more condos are built in the area, the school’s population is more
and more in-district. Last year about 500 applications were received for only
200 places; this year will be similar. But unlike the past, fewer and fewer
places are available for the lottery.
The TDSB plays it safe
and erects signs around new developments saying that moving into the new
building does not guarantee that students will be able to attend a local
school. So far this has not been the case, but with NT’s enrolment increasing
each year, there may soon be a lottery for even feeder school students!