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Northwood High School - Irvine, CA

Data Source:

School NameAddressPhoneGradesCountyTypeDistrict Name
Northwood High School4515 Portola Parkway
Irvine, CA 92620
(949) 936-72009-12OrangepublicIrvine Unified

Class SizeGradeYear
26 2008

Ethnic BackgroundPercentYear
White, non-Hispanic43.222009
Black, non-Hispanic1.042009
Pacific Islander0.192009
Native American or Native Alaskan0.522009

Students per TeacherYear

School Head OfficialYear
Leslie Roach2011


Students Getting Free LunchYear

12/27/2011parentNo words to describe about Northwood High School Academic Performance. It is simply Astonishing and two thumbs up.
12/18/2011studentI am a junior. Although the instruction and counseling are decent and the material not too challenging, the workload is overwhelming. It would easily rival (or outrival) that of Asian countries. For so much work, the test scores are still not as impressive as Uni High. Also, the honors students are arrogant and intolerant. An elitist attitude prevails, and the honors students ridicule the non-honors students. Basically, they are ardent believers of survival of the fittest. Worse yet, the school is rigidly structured, limiting opportunities for non-honors students but maximizing those for honors students. There is also a lot of ethnic tension between different groups of Asian students.Furthermore, the students are hostile towards conservative politics. So if you are a non-honors/conservative student, expect to be utterly suppressed.
12/18/2011studentI'm currently a freshman at NHS, and it is the best experience I could ever ask for. I'm taking both honors and non-honors classes, but the teachers genuinely want to prepare you for a sucessful future. There are tons of clubs to choose from during lunch, and the campus is breathtaking. We have 45 minutes twice a week to ask teachers questions, which is very helpful. I hope this helps!
11/30/2011studentThe school is absolutely breathtaking; building designs, academics (education received), teachers, and even the people roaming the campus. Northwood is a great school where the competition to achieve perfection is well sought throughout each student. Even as its birth since 1999, it has climbed up the ranks and is now situated to be 7th in the top ten best schools in Orange County. Northwood High is a multicultural high school where top-notch students expand their learning in a competitive environment as well as mature and discover their identity through elective classes such arts (visual, performing), business and technology courses, world languages, science/history/social science courses that go beyond core subjects (Horticulture, Psychology, Economics, Anatomy/Physiology, etc), as well as English courses exceed the core subject (Journalism, NHS Howler Newspaper, Speech and Debate, Broadcast Communications, etc), and also our vast range of award-winning sports. Northwood provides an elite education as well as a community filled with students that are motivated, highly determined, welcoming, and admirable.
11/19/2011studentI'm currently a sophomore at NHS and I love this school. My parents and I moved to Irvine the summer before freshman year and we chose between Northwood High and Uni. I decided I wasn't up for the pressure of Uni and chose Northwood - I'm so glad I did. Though I was new, I quickly made friends. I found that the students were a lot more friendly than those in the city I previously lived in. The academics are stellar at this school. The teachers I had during freshman year were some of the best I've ever had, and the teachers I have right now are awesome too. Northwood High even has 45 minutes twice a week to ask teachers if you need help on anything. However, Northwood High isn't totally academic-focused and also has great extracurriculars. The music programs are great and they offer a ton of clubs, sports, etc. for you to join. I have no regrets about coming here. If you're searching for a good school for your kids look no further!
10/26/2011otherNorthwood promotes a very different curriculum which can provide your child with a great education. However the school prefers to polarize its students into two groups: The honors and the regular students. If your child is placed in the lower bracket, good luck. Most of the teacher's teach the curriculum as if the student was in the honors classes. Also the math program as Northwood high school is atrocious. The books focus on concepts, but they have very little in the way of actual problems, so it is challenging for students to learn the basics and practice the basics. The Integrated science program also has serious issues. On paper, it sounds like a great idea. Students explore the various fields of science so they can see what they are interested. In reality, majority of students are confused because they do not learn enough of any one concept. So if your child is really smart and is part of the Gate program, they will probably benefit from the difficult course load. If you consider your child normal, your child will find the school very challenging and become frustrated with courses. I gave it a ranking of 3 starts: 5 for advanced students, 1 for normal students.
1/2/2010parentWe've had three very different children who have attended Northwood High School, and it is an awesome place for each of them! Academics, athletics, and arts all excel at Northwood! If you are looking for a wonderful place to send your children, look no further.
11/24/2009studentI have gone to school here for 4 years, and this school is an amazing school compared to all previous schools I have attended. It is a safe environment, and offers everyone a chance to pursue whatever passion they hold. Attend this school, it will be worth it in the long run.
9/17/2009otherThe advisement program breaks a large school (over 2,000) into a smaller and more intimate community.
9/16/2009parentGrammy winning music program and superb academics.
9/1/2009parentNorthwood HS placed more students in Ivy League Schools than any other public high school in the US. Rated best public school in 'The OC.' Great staff. Upper middle immigrated professionals move to Irvine to get their children to this school. The academics and music programs dwarf sports and normal high school student life. The school is, however, surprisingly weak in science education per its' robotic adherence to CA's poorly designed public school frosh/soph 'integrated science' mandate.
1/17/2009studentThis school is just great i am a junior that transfered from Uni and Northwood is way better. The classes are much more challenging than Uni. Pretty soon this school is going to be the best in the city. The teachers and staff are also great. teachers teach about things you use in real life not just the stuff out of the book. I love this school!!!!
1/15/2009studentI love Northwood! its one of the best schools in the city, and anyone should take their chances to come here. The academics are amazing, and the music programs are out of this world. Sports are good but could be better, like the schools dirt track, but that's a money issue from the city. Almost every teacher is amazing, with the exception of about 2. They all help out immensely and the two tutorials a week give the kids a chance to either catch up on their homework or go to a class for individual help. The blocked schedules give students a chance to get an extra day on homework so they can ask for help if they don't understand it. The school is possibly the nicest in the city, with a central court yard that almost all the kids hang out at. Overall, its the best school.
1/11/2009studentI am dissappointed in northwood H.S I'm a student that just transfered there and it just stinks. I heard I was supposed to take a entrance exam or math and english for placement since I was from out of the state and i didn't. The teachers arent very structured. I understand that NHS is supposed to be one of the top high schools in Irvine but besides the education there isn't very much. The counslers aren't any help with credits and advice.
1/8/2009studenti love northwood! it's a great school!
9/24/2008studentim a sophomore at northwood now, and i complately love it. its likee such an amzing school and since irvine i like the safest city in amaerica, it slike really quiet. anyone would be really lucky to be able to go to northwood.
8/10/2008otherI graduated from Northwood High School in 2005, and I have found that this school prepared me for life after high school wonderfully. I was accepted to many respected universities (I am currently a senior at the University of Washington). In addition, I won a Grammy with the rest of the fine arts program during my time there-not many schools can say that!
11/26/2007studentNorthwood High School is a wonderful school with an unbelievable sports program. I recommend it!!!
6/17/2007studentThe academic programs are competitive and intense. The Music department is just amazing- only the minority of Northwood is not involved with music or art. there are tons of extracurricular activities- no one is left out. What gives the school the ability to be so top-notch is the parent involvement. And someone commented that NHS is socially segregated...and I would personally have to strongly contradict that. Out of all the schools I've attended I feel that NHS is the most comfortable environment, socially...except for some people that think they are better than others. /
2/17/2007parentGreat school.... similar to the academic environment of a private prep school,especially for those students enrolled in Honors/AP classes. Fantastic music/ athletic/ extracurricular programs. Quality, caring teachers. Very competitive environment for the students... a lot of academic pressure for many. The students driving are unruly in the parking lot but overall an excellent high school that we are very fortunate to have in Northwood.
1/28/2007parentI have a daughter at Northwood and another at Woodbridge High School, both in the Irvine Unified School District. The music and the debate programs are top notch, but our experience with teachers has been mixed, as teachers have come and gone over the years. Academics are extremely competetive.Many students are wealthy and feel 'entitled.'Everything, as a matter of fact, is so competitive that I wish the school was more grounded and balanced. The facilities are beautiful, brand new. Northwood would be a good school for kids who have a strong sense of self.
3/4/2006studentNorthwood High School has an extensive music program: 4 bands, 4 string orchestras, 1 symphonic orchestra, 2 jazz bands, 7 choirs, and a marching band. The academics are excellent - great teachers who give support and extra help. Tutorial twice a week is also great. Sports are also great. Participation is encouraged and NHS has countless number of teams. Socially, the school is very segregated among races.
2/6/2006parentParents involvement is wonderful, many committed people. The academic programs are OK, could be better. Music is very good although the selection process for advanced bands seems to be questionable. Sports programs are very good as well. Many teachers are poor ones, however.
1/14/2006parentWe are new to Northwood and find it to be very good in some respects and not so good in other respects. The counselor we dealt with was not friendly and does not present himself in a professional manner. The academic are ok, but not challenging - even in honors. All of my childrens' teachers have taught only one or two years (with the exception of one). The advisor my child has told us flat out that she does not know the answers to any question we might have so we would need to ask someone else for help. She is new; which is no excuse! The sports programs have been great. The technology, music, and theater departments are wonderful. I am extrememly concerned about the limited experience of most administrators. It seems that there are so many new staff members that they really have little direction/cohesion.
1/12/2006parentFantastic school with outstanding teachers, incredible programs/facilities, wonderful student body and active parents.
8/7/2005former studentThis school is amazing! Northwood really focuses on the education of their students and not only does Northwood provide outstanding academic programs, but the extracurricular activities are those no other school can match. It provides students with a chance to choose activities they enjoy with choices from Dance to Band to Drama! Northwood High School runs with the help of the community and parents who are willing to help. This school is the best high school I have attended.
7/30/2005parentThe administration and teachers have accomplished a phenomal amount in the short time the school has been opened. The school has been open six to eight years and it is already the high school of choice in the Irvine school district. It is mainly known for its fine arts and music program, but delivers on all academic fronts. Extra curricular activities abound whether it be sports to choral, band, or debate. Parents are involved from the giving level to the actively involved level. The school could not have gotten to where it is in such a short period of time without parent involvement. This is a rigorous, competitive environment where students and their parents are achievers with high goals. You need to evaluate who your child is and their goals. If it is not to go to College with a full scholarship, then they will not be in the norm.
2/14/2005parentThis school is highly competitive and exceeds my expectations of a California High School. Truely a great school.
8/8/2004studentAs a Northwood student, I completely disagree with the parents who say the school has unmotivated teachers and an 'elitist' attitude. NHS has gained a reputation as an academic, athletic, and artistic powerhouse. The average SAT score at Northwood is >1200. Over 45% of the school's population has earned over 3.5, an incredible feat considering Northwood's rigorous curriculum. The AP program is very strong, with great programs in the sciences and social sciences. The European History course, especially, is perhaps the best in the state. The teachers at Northwood are without doubt dedicated to motivating the education of the highly competitive student body. Outside of academics, Northwood has proven itself greatly after only 5 years of existence. The Football team has won the Pacific Coast League multiple times. The Music Department has already won Grammy Signature Gold and the Philharmonic Orchestra is slated to perform at Carnegie Hall in Summer 2005.
6/10/2004parentI have two children currently at Northwood High School. I have been overwhelmingly happy with this school's academics, especially the Science Department. My children have also participated in the outstanding Music and Drama Departments. My daughter is graduating next week and will to attend UC Berkeley in the fall.
3/1/2004parentNorthwood high school is a very excellent high school. Test scores are high and NHS has a tendency to think that they are better than the other schools, it doesnt mean that the kids there are stuck up. There are many great programs and many sports and activities to participate in and is one of the best schools around.
2/11/2004parentGreat campus (when it doesn't look as if the weeds haven't been pulled in 6 months), state of the art facilities but an overwhelming 'elitist' attitude prevails among the principal, staff and the parents. We have a horrible reputation of acting as if our kids are better than those of the other Irvine High Schools and that is reflected nowhere more than when we visit or are visited by the other Irvine Schools. Frankly I think that we deserve the bad reputation - I am embarrassed by the attitudes that I have seen in 2 years of having a child at NHS. For the most part, the coaches are allowed to operate unchecked, run their 'off-season conditioning' as if it is the only class of importance, with no regard to ending the class time anywhere near 3:30, the counseling is sub-par and the staff intervention is practically non-existent. They are definately not interested in putting in any more effort with the students than they are required to do to earn their paycheck. Two years down two to go as far as we're concerned.
12/18/2003parentThere are always good and bad inherent in every school. Some teachers are mediocre and some quite good at Northwood. The test scores coming out of this school rank in the top 10 in the state of California public schools and top 20 (approx) for all schools (public and private) in California. This is a school for high achievers. Parents are highly educated white collar professionals. Parents from outside Irvine are doing everything (including driving up home prices in the school's boundary area ) to get their kids in this school. An absolutely outstanding music department of which word has leaked out and has become a huge draw for parents/students from in and outside Irvine. Wind Ensemble group conistently beats out college ensemble groups in competitions. Excellent English and Science departments. Math is hit and miss with Calculus rating poorly. Consider going elsewhere (local community/state colleges) for decent instruction in this course. Academically second only to University High School in Irvine. Good athletic programs as well; beats University High in this regard. If there's a drawback it may be the lack of ethnic diversity. Predominantly caucasian and asian demographic.
12/8/2003parentWe are so lucky to have our daughter in this school. The campus is beautiful and the academic challenges will have these students well prepared for college. It is competitive school and yet the environment is very nuturing.
11/11/2003parentDespite the positive comments listed by other parents, having put two children through this high school, I believe it is a lousy school. The principal lets the teachers run the show and most are lazy and have terrible attitudes. The college counseling available is woefully inadequate
10/6/2003parentNorthwood High has a beautiful, safe campus, with an emphasis on high academic achievement as well as sports and other extracurricular activities. The Northwood student is well-rounded, polite, neatly dressed (no ganglike attire is seen at all), and definitely college-bound. You can't find a better principal than Mr. Feruzzo. I could go on and on about what an excellent school Northwood High is. My freshman felt welcomed with open arms (the older students have been very nice to the freshmen), and we couldn't be happier.
9/19/2003parentA school which stresses high performance, scholastically, athletically and extracurricularly. What is most impressive, is the massive heart that this school community has for its special needs students. We have two football players and a cheerleader who are developmentally disabled, plus a massive club which buddies typical kids with special needs kids for social support and fun times. Students are supportive and generous with each other, warm and welcoming. The faculty is bright, youthful, energetic and warm. Instruction and facilities are top notch. Counselling is compassionate, realistic, intuitive and available. Security is firm; students are safe. You can do no better than to send your child to Northwood High School.
8/19/2003otheri'm a senior at NHS and i love it. if anyone in irvine has a choice on whether or not the want to attend NHS, go for it! you won't regret it. it is honestly in my experience the funnest, and most worthwhile school experience you may ever have. (and all the teachers are young too, which makes it an environment that's easy to learn in)
5/3/2003 What an amazing campus! I am a junior at NHS right now and I totally love it. It's definetely a challenging enviornment that stresses college preparation.

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