In my experience at SMNW, it was the worst school i have ever seen. Students bully other students constantly, threatening each other, singling out other students, drug use, etc. The school administration does next to nothing about bullying. However, many teacher at SMNW are very qualified in their own fields, and deserve much better than the students and the administrations have to offer them. When i went to the school, i had to transfer out to another high school 11 miles farther because i was bullied and the administration did nothig about it. But again, i miss many wonderful teachers that on occasion i will see at a football game or other activity involving SMNW and my new school. Would i ever recommend going to this school? only if you are a sports jock who doesnt care about other students or teachers. other than that, i would recomend looking at a different school. and remember, this is a review from a former student that had to transfer because of bullying.
The teachers are great and very caring, for the most part. So is the staff in general. The worst thing is that it's a rich kids' school. As in, spoiled rich kids. If you aren't rich or if your parents aren't well known, you're nobody and you will be treated as such (by the other students). If you are an introvert, then you'd better develop some thick skin because you WILL be picked on or treated like you aren't there at all. School uniforms would eliminate about 80% of the problem.
SMNW has really a great academic program and also a good sports program - esp. if you're interested in cross country or track. Most of the teachers are good - but like any school there's a few acceptions. Not as bad as a reputation as some people give it. And it's a lot better than most schools in the area - a lot less of the 'cliques' go on since it is a bigger school.
Academically, this school is fine. Socially, if you do not fit into a clique, your high school career will be awful. Teachers and administration do nothing to help students that do not socially fit in. On the bright side, if you do fit into a group, the school has a lot to offer.
Because of No Child Left Behind, their accreditation is being closely scrutinized. This does not accurately reflect the school. It is an excellent school. They received a blue ribbon a few years ago. Northwest is also in the process of starting the International Baccalaureate program, with attracts very motivated, high achieving students. An award winning journalism department, Thespian Troupe (drama), choir, band, and orchestra truthfully depicts the emphasis that this school places on the arts. Also, the cross country team is the best in the state, and has been for the past 12 years. The administration is somewhat stubborn and resistant to change, and does not give students a workable to voice opinions, however.