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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a typical day at NTCS for a high school student?

At 8:45 a.m., 'O Canada' is played to signal the beginning of classes. Elementary students have a morning break from 10:30 a.m. to 10:55 a.m. followed by a fruit snack break, and then a longer lunch break and recess from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The school day ends at 3:15 p.m., at which point all elementary students go outside to the playground. High school students follow a full year (non-semestered) academic program -- with six classes during the day, each 50 minutes long, on a four-day rotational cycle. Lunch is 45 minutes long, beginning at 11:40 a.m., and the school day ends at 3:05 p.m.

What do the students do for lunch? Are they allowed to leave the school property?

Most students bring their own lunch to school each day. Elementary students eat their lunch in their classroom. For older students, there are two separate cafeteria areas, one for junior high students and the other for senior high students. Students from grades 7-12 may purchase a lunch from the cafeteria each day -- the food is good, but the selection is limited. Students from grade 10 - grade 12 may leave the school property during the day to frequent local eating establishments, but younger students may not.

What pick-up and drop-off arrangements are available?

Students may enter the building and wait in the cafeteria (high school students) at the south entrance of the ground floor, or go to the morning extended care program from 7:40 a.m. The doors to the second floor classrooms and locker areas are opened at 8:00 a.m. Elementary students are supervised in the afternoon extended care program until 5:30 p.m. High school students are permitted to remain at school during the afterschool hours until 5:00 p.m. if involved in a teacher-sponsored activity, or if waiting in the main floor cafeteria for a ride home.

Is the school accessible by TTC?

Yes. Many students take the TTC back and forth to school. Sheppard and Victoria Park buses stop close to the school property and the Don Mills subway station on the Sheppard subway line is within easy walking distance of the school.

Does NTCS provide any busing services to families?

No. Home pick-up or drop-off is not provided for students.

How many holidays and P.D. days are taken during the school year?

Each school year begins the day after Labour Day in September. Normal holidays are Thanksgiving Day, two weeks for Christmas, Family Day in February, seven weekdays for March Break, Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Victoria Day. Three P.D. days are generally scheduled during the school year in November, February, and May. Details of the exact dates of all non-school days are provided at the beginning of each school year.

What is a normal class size?

A normal class size is 20 - 25 students, usually fairly equally split between boys and girls. There is one class at each grade level from JK - grade 6, and there are two classes at each grade level from grade 7 - grade 12. Class sizes for elective courses in grade 10-12 average 15-20 students.

What is involved in the application process?

Applications from interested families and students are welcomed. There is no specific deadline for applications, as applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The best time to make an application for admission is generally during the winter months. NTCS's Open House is usually held in early February. At some grade levels, very few places are available each year, so it is best to apply early in the year to avoid being placed on a waiting list or being denied a space because classes have already been filled.

Interested families are provided with an information package which answers many questions and includes an application form that can be completed and returned to us with copies of report cards/transcripts from previous schools attended. After receiving an application, a meeting is arranged with the administrator or principal, who will answer your questions and give you more information about the application process. Sometimes testing in a specific subject area is done if the school has concerns about an applicant's grade level readiness before the school makes a decision about whether or not a space will be offered to the student.

What are the costs involved in sending my child to NTCS?

There is a one-time, non-refundable $150 registration fee that must accompany an application to NTCS. Once a student has been offered a place, a $1,000 capital fee is required. The annual tuition fee can be found on the Fees page. Tuition is generally paid through a pre-authorized withdrawal from your bank account, or with a series of 12 postdated cheques, beginning in July of each year. A second child in a family pays a $100 registration fee, no capital fee, and receives a 40% discount on the full tuition fee. A third child in a family pays a $100 registration fee, no capital fee, and receives a 60% discount on the full tuition fee.

Other costs to anticipate at NTCS are school and gym uniforms (approx. $450), textbooks (Grade 7-12 only, approx. $500-600/year), and an annual student activity fee.

Do students wear a school uniform?

Yes. All students are required to wear a school uniform that can be purchased directly from the school's supplier, McCarthy's. A physical education uniform must be purchased from NTCS at the beginning of the school year.

In what ways does NTCS expect, or encourage, parents to be involved in school life?

The school certainly hopes that parents will take an active interest in the work and progress of their child, encouraging them to maintain disciplined work habits and to make a strong effort to be involved in all aspects of the school program -- academic, athletic, artistic, and other extracurricular activities. Ongoing communication with individual teachers is encouraged (by visiting the school, by phone, or by email) to ensure that parents are fully informed of their child's progress, particularly when concerns arise. Parents are encouraged to access the NTCS online bulletin board to help keep informed about their child’s school work. Attendance at some school functions throughout the year is strongly encouraged. Parental involvement in some field trips to assist with supervision is very helpful.

What makes NTCS different from other schools?

NTCS is an interdenominational Christian school that adopts an evangelical worldview in all of its activities. All of the staff are committed evangelical Christians. The staff endeavours to "teach by precept and example" Christian values that are important to Christian families trying to raise their children in a humanistic, pluralistic society. As a staff, every effort is made to support the Christian values that parents are building into their children at home and in their church community.

It is the school's goal to expose its students to the Biblical principles and truths that should guide their daily lives. NTCS aims not just to educate, but to develop Christ-like character in its students.

How are the teachers selected?

Teachers are carefully selected to be well-qualified, enthusiastic, Christian teachers of young people. NTCS's teachers hold university degrees, teaching qualifications (Ontario College of Teachers certification, or equivalent from other provinces/countries), and some have formal Bible school or seminary training. Most importantly, teachers are teaching in their area of subject specialty, so they can make the academic program as interesting and challenging as possible. Staff members are carefully chosen to be Christian role models for young people and to be in a position of authority over them.

What is the relationship of NTCS to the Ontario Ministry of Education?

NTCS is a registered school with the Ontario Ministry of Education (MOE). The school is not "approved" by them, as that is not their function. The Ministry does not "approve" any private school and, in fact, prohibits schools from claiming the Ministry's approval. The Ministry registers schools and then inspects those that offer credits at the high school level to ensure that the school is meeting the general standards of operation as prescribed by the Ministry of Education. NTCS is inspected biannually by the Ministry of Education and has always received very positive and encouraging reports from them about its policies, procedures and general operations.

How do you reflect the Christian philosophy of the school in the NTCS program?

While Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum is followed in all grades and courses, the Christian philosophy of the school is woven into daily class activities. At the start of each day (after period 2 for high school), a 15 minute devotional time is held in each of the homeroom classes. The homeroom teacher leads a time of Bible study and prayer with the students in the class. Students are encouraged to participate in these times with their comments and their prayers.

Students study a variety of topics from both Old and New Testament books. In the grade 7 - grade 8 curriculum, an entire class is devoted to Bible study. In grade 10, a credit course in Christian Studies is a mandatory part of every student's course schedule. In the grade 9 - 12 English curriculum, at least one book of the Bible is included in the students' literature studies. Chapels are held on a regular basis throughout the school year. These chapels are times to remind the students of the spiritual component of their lives, for the students themselves to share their spiritual experiences and insights, for the school worship team to lead the student body in songs of worship, and for guest speakers to challenge the students in their spiritual walk.

Students and staff are also involved in various events and service projects like Thanksgiving food drives, the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child program, and other charitable efforts to encourage the student body to focus on the needs of others. NTCS students also participate in grade specific service projects organized by their classroom or homeroom teacher.

Does NTCS specialize in any particular academic discipline?

No. NTCS offers a comprehensive, broad-based academic curriculum that covers all of the major academic subjects, preparing students for any post-secondary institutions of learning that they might choose to attend.

What is the sports program like at NTCS?

An extensive sports program with many opportunities for students to get involved is provided. Elementary and junior high sports teams typically involve tryouts and practices leading to one-day tournaments, while high school teams normally play a series of games in a season, leading to a playoff round. Students must balance their interest in sports with their academic obligations and involvement in other extra-curricular programs, but many opportunities are there for those interested and willing to commit themselves to the sport and the team.

What kinds of sports teams are available to join?

NTCS sports teams compete in three league associations. They are ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International), TDCAA (Toronto District Colleges Athletics Association), and the SSAF (Small Schools Athletic Federation).

Junior high teams include soccer, volleyball, swimming, basketball, track and field, softball, cross-country, and ultimate frisbee. Junior high sports are often held as one-day tournaments. Senior teams include volleyball, swimming, basketball, softball, cross-country, and soccer. Senior sports usually practice and play scheduled games after school between 3:05 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., either at the school, a local community centre gym, or local parks.

For all students, an active lunch time intramural program in a variety of sports throughout the school year is also available.

What other extracurricular programs are available?

There are many other programs active in the school. Some of them are choir, card-making club, biology club, School Reach team, worship band, SaLT (Service and Leadership Team), chess team, and Bible study and Christian fellowship groups.

What programs are in place to give extra help in a particular subject area if that becomes necessary?

There are several levels of help available. Teachers generally notify their students of which days/times they are available for extra help -- usually done in the after school period between 3:15 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The vice-principal also organizes a peer tutoring program that pairs an older student with a younger student for help in a certain subject area.

Do you offer summer school or night school?

NTCS offers ESL credit courses each summer for international students to assist them in improving their English level to prepare for September admission.

What is the homework policy at NTCS?

The staff is sensitive to the issue of homework load, realizing that an undue burden of homework can put stress on the whole family. In most classes, time is given in class to start homework assignments, and many students who use this time wisely will get much of their assigned work finished at school, leaving only small amounts of work to be completed at home. In addition to daily homework assignments, more substantial projects and assignments will need to be worked on, and completed, at home. These assignments are given well in advance of their due dates, and when a student manages their time well, these more major projects should be able to be completed without too much stress. A general guideline is that a student should be prepared, on average, to do about 10 minutes of homework per grade (for example, a grade 7 student should plan for about 70 minutes of homework daily).

What is the textbook policy at NTCS?

Textbooks are provided to all NTCS students in grades JK to 6. Students in grades 7 to 12, are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks from the school's book supplier, The Batner Bookstore. Books are most easily purchased through the book supplier's online bookstore, accessible from the NTCS website. The school will buy back used books in good condition from the students at the end of each school year and resell them out of the school office during the summer months to students interested in used books. As textbooks change from time to time, this "recycling" of used books is only done for those texts that will be used the following year.

How does the staff handle behavioural problems among students? Is there a detention policy?

Each teacher is encouraged to handle individual disciplinary problems within their own classroom. In so doing, a teacher may well assign a detention to an offending student. Such detentions are normally given to students for chronic lateness, ongoing uniform violations, or whose behaviour in class is inappropriate or disruptive. If the behavioural problem becomes an issue that is negatively affecting the learning environment of the entire class, or involves a persistent violation of school rules, that student will be referred to the Principal's office for further disciplinary action. If individual student behavioural problems are significant or persistent, parents will be informed and a meeting will be arranged with the Principal to discuss potential solutions.

What is Chandos Outdoor Education Centre?

Chandos is the NTCS's outdoor education camp facility on Chandos Lake in the Kawarthas, north of Peterborough. It is a beautiful rural property with comfortable cabins, a main dining lodge, and several other buildings. The school uses the property extensively during the school year. All students from grade 3 - grade 9 make two trips (one in the fall and one in the winter) of three days' duration to Chandos. Senior students may also make trips for specific class-related purposes. In the summer, Chandos operates for seven weeks as Camp Ke-Mon-Oya, a full residential camping program for children from ages 8 - 15.

What special events go on in the school during the year?

Scheduled events where parents can visit the school and the staff include a new student Orientation on the Thursday before the first day of school, a Get Acquainted Night in the first week of school in September, Parent/Teacher Interviews in late November and an Open House in February.

Other significant events are: fall Chandos trips in September for grade 3 - grade 10, winter Chandos trips in February for grade 3 - grade 9, a school wide ski trip in February/March, grade 8 Science Fair in April, Festival of the Arts in May including drama presentations and a band/choir concert, and senior kindergarten, grade 8 and grade 12 graduations in June. During the summer months, swimming lessons at NTCS are offered to students of all ages, also providing employment opportunities for senior students.

What kind of computer facilities does NTCS have?

NTCS has three separate computer laboratories, each designed to meet the needs of different grade levels. The junior lab is used for grade 7 and grade 8 keyboarding and basic computing classes, the intermediate lab for grade 9 and grade 10 computer classes, and the senior lab for more advanced grade 11 and grade 12 computer classes. The three labs are networked and high-speed internet access is available. Students have access to the labs outside of class time (with teacher supervision) to enable them to work on projects related to other coursework.

How does NTCS monitor Internet access by students?

All students at NTCS use the computer labs with a personal user I.D. This allows for all network and internet activity to be monitored, logged, and traced to a specific individual. Hardware filtering and proxy servers which monitor all network traffic help us to avoid spyware, viruses, and undesirable content, such as accidental website hits and pop up banners. An internet filtering appliance is also installed and sits between the internet and the school computers. This allows filtering of material that may be considered inappropriate or should not be accessed by the student body (Facebook, YouTube, etc.)

The computer labs are always well-supervised and students are not permitted to use the school's network for personal purposes. Parents and students agree in writing that they will use the computer network for school purposes only or suffer disciplinary action.

Is a computer with Internet access and email needed at home?

It is very strongly recommended that a student have access to a home computer so that projects and assignments can be typed. Internet access is also recommended as there are many excellent resources available to be used for schoolwork. Email is a convenient way to send work back and forth from school, and among group members when working on projects and assignments. A USB key to transfer data is a preferred alternative to email. Access to NTCS school computers can be arranged if access is not available at home, but that is not preferred.

What science laboratory facilities does NTCS have?

NTCS has two senior level science laboratories for senior science courses. A fully equipped chemistry and biology lab complete with water, natural gas, fume hood, and all necessary chemicals and glassware allows students to conduct a wide range of hands-on experimentation as part of their class work. The second lab is a "dry" lab, primarily for physics, that includes computers and electronic probe-ware. A third science laboratory has work benches with water and electricity for conducting experiments appropriate for the grade 7 - grade 9 level.

How would you describe the academic standard at NTCS?

It is difficult to make comparisons with other schools because of the wide variety of factors that shape each school's academic environment. The concept of an "academic standard" is not clearly defined. NTCS prefers to judge its program based on the success of its students in post-secondary studies. With over twenty years of graduating students to a wide variety of universities and colleges around the world, NTCS is confident that its program is preparing its graduates to have success in the post-secondary institutions that they attend.

How well do you prepare students for university acceptance?

High school courses are taught at the "university-bound" or “academic” level of difficulty. Students completing these courses are eligible to enter all varieties of post-secondary schools. Certainly, most students are university bound and the goal of the program is to prepare them for successful entry and completion of a university program of their choice. NTCS's experience is that its students have no difficulty with their university admissions applications.

In general, most post-secondary institutions like to admit students from private schools because they know it is more likely the students have had solid academic training, developed generally strong study habits, and have come from homes where education is valued. These students are, therefore, better prepared to endure the rigours of the university experience. Most of our students are accepted into all the universities to which they apply, many with scholarship offers. Even more importantly, NTCS is pleased to hear of the successes of its graduates in their university studies. From these personal visits and reports, NTCS is confident that its high school program prepares graduates academically, socially, and spiritually for the demands of an independent university lifestyle. The goal is to prepare NTCS students with the skills necessary -- not to merely gain acceptance to the universities of their choice, but to successfully complete their university program.

How does a NTCS student apply to university?

The application process is guided by the principal and the guidance head to ensure that all relevant information about students and their grades and courses is supplied in the correct way to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre and the Ontario Colleges Application Service. The process begins in October and continues throughout the school year with students and the school office updating the Application Centres periodically with completed course information through their web-based computer systems. Generally, students begin to receive early offers of admission from universities and colleges in March, with others normally coming in May and June.

Do universities and colleges come to NTCS to recruit students?

Yes. Through the guidance office, many universities and colleges are invited to NTCS to personally present their programs and distribute information to interested senior students during the lunch time period. Senior students are encouraged to attend the annual universities fair at the Metro Convention Centre in the fall where they spend the day visiting representatives and collecting information from dozens of post-secondary institutions. NTCS also encourages students to attend the CCU Fair (Christian Colleges and Universities) where many Christian post-secondary institutions across Canada come together to recruit high school students.

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