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!
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.
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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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)!
Teachers are underpaid. Infrastructure is old and poorly maintained. Parents appear involved. Wide variety of sports programs helps keep kids engaged.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think Northgate is a fine school for a superior student. The average student can get ignored.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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