at 8075 Bayview Ave. , L3T 4N4
Thornlea Secondary School is a public high school that opened in 1968 and is located in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, on the north east corner Bayview Avenue and Willowbrook Road, just south of Highway 407.The school began in the late 1960s as an educational experiment. The curriculum was unique, varied and highly specialised, following a trimester system, and students were encouraged to address their teachers by their first names and focus on independent learning. The school attracted innovative teachers and self-directed students. Around 1980, with the introduction of a school Disciplinarian, this model gave way to a more traditional, but still high-achieving academic environment.During the late 1970s, the school mascot, Pharley J Cumquat adorned in purple and white brought the student body together. Many alumni remember fondly the 'purple passion pit' which was later turned into the dramatic arts classroom.Extracurricular activitiesThornlea students often play key roles in the social activist life of Thornhill, and have, in the past, helped organize the Terry Fox Run, as well as the Walk Against Male Violence.Generally, the school is known externally for its support for social causes. The school, which in the mid-1990s had an enrolment of over 2300 students and a staff of perhaps 150, was once known for its Grade 9 and 10 Gifted Program, Talented Athlete Program, musicals and other arts programs, all of which were cut or starved in the late 1990s as a result of political pressures in the Board, and ostensibly an effort to lower the student population. This era saw the retirement or transfer of many dedicated teachers, the firing and hiring of new department heads, frequent curriculum changes, and the discontinuing of many specialty courses as the OAC program (Grade 13) was eliminated.