“I literally feel like I’m in a prison,” says Sasha Potter, a grade 10 student at CHAT, a Jewish Toronto high school. “The windows are boarded up and have bars over them, and the faded blue and grey walls are just…depressing.”
This prison-like state of CHAT may have to do with the lack of spirit at the school, which Potter rates as 25 out of 100. Here at NT, even with our own depressing set of grey walls, we still have, at the least, a score of 80. The reason for this is probably
because every NT student is so involved and passionate about the clubs they
belong to. So when Red and Grey Day or Club Fair comes along, we have no
problem supporting other people promoting the things they love. In contrast,
CHAT only really has student council or sports team to be a part of.
“And if you aren’t good at sports, or aren’t really into the whole student council thing, you’re kind of stuck,” says Potter. “The extra-curricular activity I’m in involved in, which
is dance, is outside of school.”
I asked a couple more CHAT students about their extra-curricular activities and found out that they, too, were usually only involved in things outside of school. However, for NT students, the majority spend at least 8 hours a week doing extra-curriculars,
volunteering, and workings.
“I probably spend 5 hours a week on dance,” Potter added. “But that’s my only extra-curricular activity. I don’t work and I only volunteer once in a while.”
Another thing that really differentiates NT from CHAT is that 99% of the students at CHAT have never had a part-time job during the year, whereas many NT students begin to work in grade ten or eleven.
To be fair, CHAT does start at 8:30AM and go until 4PM, and they do have four extra Hebrew subjects to juggle on top of their eight core subjects. So it would be hard to volunteer three times a week, work on the weekends, and still have a social life.
All in all, NT and CHAT are similar to each other, especially in our academic standings, which both have a high rate of graduates moving on to universities. The main difference is just our involvement levels. But, as everyone knows, NT students are incredibly
involved, and that probably would be a big difference in comparison to any
other Toronto high school—public or private.