Students enrolled 348
Hours no info
School leader John McMorris
Transportation options no info

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425 Castle Rock Road
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

(925) 938-0900
(925) 945-6429
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Map of Northgate High School address.

4 stars
Based on 52 ratings

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think about this school

August 22, 2013
My son just graduated and all what I can say are excellent school the best high school in MDUSD no question. Principal Vice Principals and Teachers are the best.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2013
Northgate is a great school. There are some awesome teachers, but I think that the difference is that there are so many options for kids that choose to take them. Our son is in Jazz Band and the opportunities he has had with the music program are way beyond what we could imagine. The music program works because of strong parent and student involvement and Greg Brown is such a dedicated teacher. Students can't get these opportunities anywhere else in the district or in any of the private schools. There are a lot of great electives at this school, our son just wishes that there were more periods available so that he could take more of these classes. As with any school, your experience is what you make it. The opportunities are there. We had really bad experiences at another elementary school in the district and moved to the Northgate area so that our son could attend the school. We don't regret that move for a moment.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2013
This is a great school if you are looking for your child to spend a lot of time with Substitiute Teachers and watching videos to fill the time. The school is lax with accountability and keeps communications to parents about issues to a minimum.

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2012
I am a former student who attended Northgate High School and graduated in 2010 and am currently a junior in college. Everyone has their own experiences in high school, based on their identity e.g. who their friends are, what groups they associate themselves with, etc. I was not a big fan of Northgate at the time; I was an average student earning not-so-impressive grades, I was not involved in as many groups, clubs as I would have liked (I was only involved with Be the Change Club and Softball)... Looking back, I now have an appreciation for the staff and school in general that I lacked three years ago. The parents are amazing and so supportive, the staff is okay, however, because of budget cuts the school's academic flare is beginning to flicker and dim. Although since I have left, they have added Mandarin to their Language Department. This is a good school. (Also, if you have any seniors preparing for college, DO NOT listen to the college counselor. She made me cry on my first day of my senior year, telling me I should not aim too high as to get my hopes up--because of my poor GPA. I was admitted to a 4-year University later that year and now have a better GPA than I did in HS.)

- submitted by a student
May 01, 2012
I am currently finishing my Junior year at NHS. This school isn't bad overall but its definitely not all its hyped up to be. The main things I can complain about as a cynical teenager are the lack of windows in 95% of the classrooms, the repetitive schedule, the lame students and the horrible cafeteria food. I have had some awesome teachers but about as many who were just alright or that weren't too good. It seems the sports teams are good as well as the sports medicine, AP/Honors and band programs. Though I am not involved in a lot of activities, you can definitely find something to keep you busy if you want. Not such a big fan of the administration. If you live in the area, Northgate will more then serve its purpose as a place for your kids to get a education that will prepare them for college, however don't go out of your way to send your kids to this prison-like high school fortress of mediocrity.

- submitted by a student
September 01, 2011
Northgate has a very strong parent support base and wide variety of of AP and Honors classes. I am very glad we are here and NOT at Las Lomas or Acalanes due to the neighborhood and the strong parental support. It does make a difference. GET INVOLVED and stop complaining. Even if you work fulltime, find a way to help.

- submitted by a parent
June 07, 2011
Northgate was once a great school but it's now on a downward academic slide. There is no way it is a 10, maybe 8. The parents in this community are amazing but do not be fooled into thinking your kids will have the opportunity to pursue cutting edge academic goals. Get yourself over to LL or Acalanes. Northgate 'talks' academic excellence but the reality is they stop at 'good enough' and won't support a higher vision, even if the student asks for help. Wish they would wake up and turn this around.

- submitted by a parent
April 09, 2011
Does this school have all-time lockers? Because I get lots of books and need an all-time locker.Or I might need a rolling backpack which won't be good.

- submitted by a community member
no rating November 03, 2009
Northgate is a great school, has wonderful programs for our kids, and awesome school spirit. Both my kids loved it there.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2009
Northgate is a terrific school. The teachers and staff are hardworking and caring. They motivate the kids to do the best they can, and prepare them for life after high school. Our students are a great group of kids with a sense of community and school spirit. I can't say enough about our principal, we love him. Our only drawback is our school district, we if could get them in shape it would be even better.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2009
Northgate high school is such a united school everyone is there for eachother. Our six man section at basketball games is one highlight of the year we are able to show our support. When a tragedy hits northgate we all come together and help eachother get through it. I defintaly think Northgate is the best school for many many reasons.

- submitted by a student
September 20, 2009
Northgate is easily the best school around. I've spent time on the other campuses, and none of them even come close. The students are mean, stupid and/or very very annoying. The teachers are braggarts and don't know what they're talking about. Sure, the grounds might look a little nicer than ours, but that's not what really counts when it comes to a good school. We've got the best teachers and the best students around! Go Broncos!

- submitted by a student
September 20, 2009
Northgate is a school full of excellent teachers and determined students that enjoy learning!

- submitted by a student
no rating September 20, 2009
I love Northgate High School because of our great athletics programs, our awesome teachers and staff, and also because we have the best sports medicine program here at Northgate.

- submitted by a student
September 20, 2009
Northgate is the best school I've attended in my entire life! The entire student population is like a family, thanks to all the activities the school does together. We have tons of fun rallies and out of school activites. Even though its hard to love your teachers at times, I always realize how much I appreciated and liked them at the end of the year. We have a terrific athletics program and always have a good time.

- submitted by a community member
no rating September 20, 2009
Northgate is an amazing school. The staff and administration, as well as the students does everything we can to make our school the best we can be.

- submitted by a student
no rating September 20, 2009
I love Northgate of the ethnic diversity, safe classrooms, likeable teachers, and great student body.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 20, 2009
NHS is an amazing school in that it helps students discover what is important to them via classes and organizations. It provides them with opportunities to take different paths, and figure it out in a positive environment.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2009
I love Northgate because of our amazing music program. I have been a part of the jazz band since freshman year and we have won dozens of awards in the two years I have been in it. Last year we placed 3rd out of over 100 California high school jazz bands, even beating performing arts oriented schools. We also were selected to play in the Monterey Next Generation Festival last April, where only 12 high school jazz bands out of the US are selected to participate through audition. Despite all these prestigious honors, our music program is going to the least amount of music festivals/trips that we have ever gone on during my 3 years in the music department.

- submitted by a student
September 20, 2009
At northgate we have really great students and staff. We have awesome sports teams and it is too bad that there is little support because our teams are the best around. Northgate is the best

- submitted by a student
September 20, 2009
Northgate has: a wide variety of students, school spirit, classrooms that are out of number order (how cool is that?), we have a variety of AP/honours classes, our teachers actually know how to teach, and more. Our school is better than the rest.

- submitted by a student
September 20, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating September 02, 2009
Our kids are now gone from Northgate but I can tell a big difference now that there is a new principal at the school . The change was long over due and an indication on how long it takes the district to fix something. Kudos to the principal for truly making a difference. The school looks better and the test scores are on the increase. A big difference in the way the community views the school. Don't give up! Change can happen as we have just seen.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 12, 2009
A new principal started in September 2008, what a breath of fresh air. Positive, energetic, supportive of parents. What a difference a principal can make. The school district is struggling with budget issues, like most other districts in the state, but the parents step up with funding help. Great school!

- submitted by a parent
April 05, 2009
I have two kids that attend Northgate and the school is by far the best in the district. A lot of the funding comes from parents instead of the district, which is something to think about. Overall Northgate is definetly one of the top schools in the East Bay.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2008
Northgate is a great school except that we need more money. A lot of people go to private schools and all that because this school has been given so many bad reviews that they think there child will die of boredom and fail in UC or Ivy league colleges. AP classes definitely are not a joke now. The teachers a very considerate about a student's grade but when you have 1600 students in one school, you have to start studying independently. People think that highschool is supposed to help you get into college and that Northgate is old and no updated. Hello people! Highschools are not training wheels anymore, they are the first times you ride your first bike. Highschool isn't supposed to be some snotty rich peoples school where only the top status people can go to. Here kids get help for free, and very good help(no $$$ tuition needed)

- submitted by a community member
September 04, 2008
I graduated 5 years ago. The only complaint I had was the lack of money in this school. They had created classrooms under staircases and in the cafeteria because the ran out of room. The teachers and admin staff are amazing, and know each student by name. Good school!

- submitted by a student
August 07, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 02, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 07, 2008
This school has been a nightmare for my son. He has learning disabilities and the teachers and staff do nothing to support. They only acknowledge the students who are above average and prefer the others to just go away. The program to support disabled students is a joke and might as well not exist. I would not recommend any average, disabled or below average students to go here. If you need help, forget it. Go somewhere else. The administration does not care.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2008
Two students in our family graduated from Northgate High School. I found the parents and students delightful and many caring and involved teachers. However, we were frustrated at getting some help for our younger child. Being assigned to an overambitious class was too great a stretch, then initially told a transfer wouldn't be possible due to overcrowding was one unhappy memory. Our younger child took the state GED and passed but elected to finish at Northgate because of band and to stay with friend. We were rather frustrated. Perhaps it's a great place if you 'walk on water' academically.

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2008
The spirit is excellent. I love this school with all my heart. Nothing could make the environment or academic stuff greater... except more money. Everything is good except that we have no money.

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2007
Northgate is a great high school. This year there has been a positive change in the school spirit and sense of community. School leadership did a great job of filling the teacher vacancies with highly-qualified teachers. A non-profit foundation working to improve facilities at the school is putting in a new all-weather sports field and track starting this month (see northgatepride.org for more info)!

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2007
Teachers are underpaid. Infrastructure is old and poorly maintained. Parents appear involved. Wide variety of sports programs helps keep kids engaged.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2007
I've been involved with Northgate for 7 yrs and have not seen dynamic leadership at the principal level. Academics have been pretty good but could be better with more teachers & less MDUSD red tape; extra activities are vital & good - athletic field way over due; parental involvement increased tremendously & has made a major diffeence.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2007
My 4th child is now entering 11th grade at Northgate, and the decline which was apparent when my oldest left in 1997 is snowballing out of control. There is one scandal after another, and teachers are leaving in droves. The plusses at this school are the bright kids and their parents, but the parents seem to be in a state of shock and unable to mobilize their outrage at what has happened to the 'premier' school that was the reason they paid overinflated house prices.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 12, 2007
the school is showing signs of age., there are makshift class room right off the locker room and some classes are even held in the teachers break area. Ifrastructure such as an atiquated phone system and computer system is laughable, no small business today would tolerate much less survive with this system. Field and grounds, well I for one cannot believe how poorly its maintained or lack of maintenance due to budgetary constraints. Teachers, well a significant number have left for the 2007 year..Academic successes, well it appeares they as a school do recieve awards in spite of the school being in a poor state of disrepair

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 29, 2007
While this school is recognized as the highest rated school in the Mt. Diablo School District, I believe that it is overall a very lousy school. It is not very diverse. I would not recommend this school.

- submitted by a community member
December 13, 2006
I am not a parent, but a graduate from Northgate and now a teacher myself at a high school in another district. My younger siblings recently graduated from Northgate, so I have been exposed to the school community within the past couple of years. I absolutely agree with the parents who say that Northgate is not the right school for the average/ slightly above average student. Some teachers are exceptional.

- submitted by a former student
October 25, 2006
My first child graduated from this school in 2003, with at 3.2 gpa. I am thankful that she made it out alive (not kidding). This school is not good for kids who are Average, slightly above average, or have any type of learning difference. My second child just started High School, but is not attending this school, and my third won't if I can help it. My second child is going to another nearby highly rated high school in this district, with much better results so far. I have lived here since 1989, had I known what was going to happen to my first child at Northgate, I would not have moved here. I love my home, the neighborhood, the parent involvement, but Northgate is set up for 'the few', (not the many) to achieve.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2006
Northgate is supposed to be one of the premier high schools in the area. Having had 1 child leave the school as a Junior (a national merit semi-finalist)and 1 attending now, the school is anything but premier. There is a definite lack of administrative leadership. Sports seem to be viewed as an unnecessary evil instead of providing fun and competitive extracurricular activities for the students. Parents are definitely involved in trying to make things better but the bottom line is the school needs true leadership in order to get back on track both academically and with it's extracurricular activities.

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2006
I have had three children at Northgate. Individual teachers can make the most difference in a child's education I believe, and at Northgate it's hit or miss. I also believe that with strong leadership, teachers teach best, and Northgate lacks that strong leadership. Therefore, there are some teachers who seem to skate by and the students learn very little. The parent involvement at NHS is relatively high, although the neighborhood is only slowly coming to the realization that we must be willing to pay--above and beyond what we pay in taxes--for a good quality public education. Currently there is too small a percentage of parents paying for added sections, upgraded facilities, and all the things our students should have. Bottom line: Had I known then what I know now, I'd have paid more for a home in Lafayette or Orinda for better schools.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2006
I agree with the parent who has given the comment in July 2005. The AP and Honors classes at Northgate are a joke. You can sleep through the class and still get an A. This will get your kid into UCs, if that's what you want. So if you are ambitious about your kids college and career prospects, you may have to re-evaluate your options. I did. We moved out.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2006
Academically, Northgate High School is a superior school compared to others in the district. They are currently demolishing and constructing a new theatre. The school is competely inside, which can be overwhelming. It is overly populated which can create difficulty. The faculty is friendly, and the teachers are okay. If you want your child to get into a good college, make sure they stay organized and work hard because you can only rely on yourself, and not your school.

- submitted by a student
no rating August 31, 2005
I think Northgate is a fine school for a superior student. The average student can get ignored.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
August 15, 2005
The academic programs are envied by most. There is quite a bit of academic competition, which is why Northgate has excelled for over 20 years. The dedication of talented teachers makes the school environment exciting. The support of the parents can't be stressed enough. Without parental support, a lot of the activites would not have taken place.

- submitted by a former student
July 30, 2005
I was a graduate of Northgate so excited when a transfer came up and my student came to Northgate from a private high school out of the state. Well frankly we were quite shocked at how inferior the Northgate education had become. Immediately it was disapointing as to how few AP courses were offered compared to my son's previous, much smaller high school. My son was placed in advanced and honors classes and he thought said they were a joke. He had very little home work, paid attention in class and was able to get all A's with a fraction of the work of his previous high school. Positives were a few teachers and counselors who were very approachable and engaged.

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
May 10, 2005
Having been involved in Northgate for five years, I have seen it's standard of leadership at Administration level plumit, Teachers have lost interest in their students and some have forgotten what their job entails. If your child attends this school stay actively involved, even then the cards are against you if you do happen to have a minor challenge to deal with. The atmosphere at school has definitely changed for the worst each year and the school has become dependant on parents more and more to keep standards up having to donate enormous sums of money to fund projects and needs in the classroom.

- submitted by a parent
March 14, 2005
Northgate is an exceptional school, the kids are very nice. They welcome new students with open arms. The school is great! If you are looking to move and you have a student in high school this is the school for him/her.

- submitted by a parent
March 12, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
January 10, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 12, 2004
The school has very good teachers. We were impressed by our child's first year english teacher--so personable and caring.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2004
I graduated from Northgate in 1997. I have very few bad memories of this school and can still recall the numerous teachers who through their caring and guidance shaped my very happy present. While much of the staff has changed over the years, some of the best still remain, like Mr. Miller and Ms. Royce. Sometimes the administration was a bit distant and the students didn't have as much sway in what went on, but still a hard-hitting, academically challenging school with good parental support and involvement.

- submitted by a former student
January 20, 2004
Northgate High School is shaped by its students and their parents, as well as their excellent vice principal staff. However, the Principal lacks real involvment and many of the teachers are somewhat lackluster. Despite the wonderful advanced math and sciences classes offered, the english and history department offer only one AP class each. this is due to funding of course, but needs to be addressed.

- submitted by a student
January 17, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
October 19, 2003
A highly academic school, Northgate's faculty challenges students with their high standards. However, some teachers lack the ability to provide a nurturing atmosphere, often alienating students. With some classes at the college level, students who graduate are more than prepared for continued education.

- submitted by a community member
no rating September 21, 2003
Great school. Go Broncos!

- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2003
I have two students at Northgate. Presently, I am impressed to see teachers taking the initiative and stepping into the 21st Century by having web sites and creating a more responsible work ethic amongst their students. My argument in the past has been that we are still way behind in technology and it seems that high school does not prepare a student sufficiently enough for college. Thus the huge drop out rate. With the present budget cuts, parents have really pulled together to help out and hopefully create an educational environment we all used to be priviledged to.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2003
I am a former student of Northgate High School, class of 97. I feel that the school really cared for the students when i was a student and I will never forget some of the teachers I had because they were good people and good educators. Grades don't reflect how much I learned and how well prepared I was when i went to college. It is a good school and I miss it.

- submitted by a former student
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Northgate High School
425 Castle Rock Road, Walnut Creek, CA  94598
(925) 938-0900
Last modified Northgate High School is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Northgate High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 63 reviews.