School Details

Northern High

117 Tom Wilkinson Road, Durham, NC 27712
(919) 560-3956

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 1358 students 15 students/teacher (NC avg is 15)

Test Scores by grade


End of Class Tests (EOC)

In 2011-2012 North Carolina used End-of-Course (EOC) tests to assess high school students in Algebra I, English I, and Biology. The EOC tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of North Carolina. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • Durham Public Schools average
  • North Carolina state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Northern High is a public high school in Durham. The principal of Northern High is Matthew Hunt and can be contacted at 1,358 students go to Northern High and identify as Black, non-Hispanic; Multiracial; and White, non-Hispanic. 59% of the 1,358 students here get reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at Northern High is 15:1. Riverside High School is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama

Languages Taught

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish


  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Black, non-Hispanic 55% 51%
Multiracial 3% 3%
White, non-Hispanic 23% 19%
Hispanic 18% 24%
Asian/Pacific Islander 1% 3%
Asian 1% 2%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.7% 0.3%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.6% 0.2%
Pacific Islander 0% 0.1%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 59% 66%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (7 months ago)

    I would like to state how impressed I have been with Northern High School. As the parent of a 9th grader it was a quite intimidating to move to high school. The freshman orientation that was held prior to school starting and the abundance of communication received from administration has made this a smooth and easy transition. My child feels safe while at school as well as being challenged by his teachers The office staff is very kind and helpful. Mr. Hunt is very active and approachable at any time and is genuinely interested in any feedback (good or bad). He is truly looking to see what steps need to be taken to make NHS the best!! Thank you to all the faculty and staff!!!

  • (8 months ago)

    I am the parent of a 9th grade student. I have been thoroughly impressed with my interactions so far with the counselors teachers and administration. Everyone has been responsive and helpful with my questions and concerns. My daughter is excited for her new adventure and I am thrilled with the school where she will have her high school experiences.

  • (8 months ago)

    We are so blessed to have such a wonderful school for our son. My oldest graduated from Northern 2 years ago and my youngest is a junior. The teachers and support staff are so loving and caring. Mr Hunt the Principal is the best. My son has a medical condition and is in a wheelchair. I was so scared of high school for him but Northern has truly made all my fears go away. And we have a culinary arts program that is absolutely wonderful. UKNIGHTED

  • (9 months ago)

    My daughter is a rising 9th grader and JV cheerleader. She is very excited about beginning her high school journey at Northern. Her class schedule consists of all Honors courses. This is in-line with her academic accomplishments in middle school. My experience interacting with the staff and cheer coaches has been a positive one. While the cheer coaches maintain a hard-working fun environment they still expect the cheerleaders to have self-discipline and appropriate respentation of the school. Nothing but the best behavior is tolerated! I attended my 1st PTO board meeting earlier this week. I must say that I am eager to join the UKnighted community and serve as a parent volunteer in any capacity. I look forward to seeing what great opportunities the principal Mr. Hunt has planned for this upcoming school year. It's going to be a great freshman year!!!!!

  • (9 months ago)

    My child is not attending NHS this is his base school. My child has been accepted to City of Medicine Academy which does not have any sports. Sports is very important to my child. We have instilled in our child that playing any sport is a privilege and that in order to play you must earn it and he did. How do you earn it? You have to do well academically to play and indeed he has done so. He was a tri-athlete in middle school and maintained a 4.0. Going forward I am sure he will have some challenges one of them is that he will be leaving CMA getting on to a bus and going to NHS for practice and sports. I was speaking to Coach Michael Monsees in regards to my son starting school on Aug. 7th and that he will not be able to attend football practice in the mornings. Coach Monsees had such words of encouragement to my child and reassured him that the staff and himself understand that school indeed comes first and not to worry about missing practice. I was so happy to hear this knowing that I my son worried about missing out on practice. I am looking forward to seeing the NHS Knights play!!!

  • (9 months ago)

    NHS is an excellent school choice in Durham with a diverse student population and caring devoted and highly qualified teachers!

  • (1 year ago)

    I have found that these rumors of Northern being dangerous are not true. My son is a rising Junior at Northern and has always felt safe there. He has made good friends with black white and Latino students. He has always struggled with his schoolwork but his teachers are caring competent and work with him to succeed. The administration communicates through weekly phone calls and emails. I am very happy with Northern.

  • (4 years ago)

    Northern High School is a very dangerous place and if had a choice would never send my child there. The administration try to cover up how dangerous it is but students and teachers are assaulted guns seen by students on the bus and nothing done about it. They are more concerned with their image than the safety of the students and staff and will never change until the entire administrative staff are gone.

  • (4 years ago)

    Both of my children attend Northern and I can't be happier. All of the teachers that I have been in contact with are superb! The teachers are excellent and really do care for the kids. I am confident that my son will graduate with the leadership and academic skills that he needs. Great teachers need a great principal and I believe that Northern has both.

  • (4 years ago)

    My husband is a teacher and former Football Basketball and Baseball Coach. Both of my daughters attended and graduated from Northern High School.

  • (5 years ago)

    They have gone way out of their way to help My Son to succeed

  • (6 years ago)

    My son will graduate this academic year 2009. He is ill-prepared for college and the world in general. When I was growing up in the area NHS was 'the best'. Boy have things changed. My daughter WILL NOT be attending NHS. I will be sending her to another county! I think administration is doing the best that they can. Keeping everyone safe is probably consuming much of the resources time and effort. I feel that if the school system supported the policy 'if you don't want to behave then leave' then schools in general would be able to do what they're suppose to do---EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN. If these young men or women don't want to learn then get OUT!! Don't make it more difficult for the rest. I also recognize the fact that because NHS has deteriorated in quality they have not been able to attract quality educators.

  • (6 years ago)

    i'am currently attending Northern High School right for the remaindor of 4 years and even though i'm just starting out at Northern I'am actually very pleased with NHS.. I feel northern is better academic wise maybe not safe but academically they are a very good school Riverside or others high school in Dps district are really not that good safe and academically wise.. and the staff and principle are amazing and know what they are doing and know how to do their job right...Maybe ya'll should give Northern a chance. it is whole lot better than the other High schools

  • (6 years ago)

    This school has major problems. Although the principal and many others are making an effort the police state atmosphere is unacceptable.

  • (7 years ago)

    Students in Advanced classes will receive a top-tier education. I can't say the same for standard level students.

  • (7 years ago)

    This school is terrible. Administration is poor and many teachers are of extremely low caliber.

  • (10 years ago)

    Being a parent of a learning disabled child that attends this school I concur with the previous comment about the EC Dept. just going through the motions. It's a shame the school has become so depleted in all areas & subjects. Northern is way behind the other high schools in the district in terms of technology. Students are not prepared to enter the real world after their 4 years at Northern. -(

  • (10 years ago)

    The quality of education and the curriculum at NHS has gone down. At one time Norhtern was a class top rated school but now that is not the case. The area I give the hightest rating at this school is the guidance counseling. They seem genuinely concerned but the school does not have the programs and resources to give the help a lot of their kids need.

  • (11 years ago)

    Northern is a school who ethnic makeup has changed quite a bit over the last 3 to 4 years and the school's personnel and administration is just now starting to adjust. The special education department for learning disabled children are sort of going through the motions of providing services but most of the burden is still falling on the parent who does not have special education training only parental training and with sometimes limited resources. Their guidance department is very good. I applaud them for all their professionalism.

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Overall score

(based on 18 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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