A+
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Academics
    A+
  2. Diversity
    A-
  3. Teachers
    A+
  4. College Prep
    A+
  5. Clubs & Activities
    B+
  6. Health & Safety
    A+
  7. Administration
    A+
  8. Sports
    A-
  9. Food
    A-
  10. Resources & Facilities
    C+
Northwood High School is an elite, public school located in Irvine, CA. It has 2,173 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 30 to 1. According to state test scores, 78% of students are at least proficient in math and 86% in reading.
Address
4515 Portola Parkway
Irvine, CA 92620
Telephone
(949) 936-7200

Northwood High School Rankings

Niche ranks nearly 100,000 schools and districts based on statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents.

Academics

Percent Proficient - Reading
86%
Percent Proficient - Math
78%
Average Graduation Rate
99%
Average SAT
1370
362 responses
Average ACT
31
261 responses
AP Enrollment
34%

Culture & Safety

Health & Safety
A+
Based on chronic student absenteeism, suspensions/expulsions, and survey responses on the school environment from students and parents.
Poll
95%
of students agree that they feel safe at their school.41 responses
Poll
78%
of students agree that they like their school and feel happy there.41 responses
Poll
What are your favorite school events or traditions?
Based on 112 responses
Report
  • Senior Scream where seniors trash school b4 grad.
    25%
  • School Dances
    17%
  • Senior class trip to 6 flags.
    11%
  • Basketball games
    9%
  • Music Concerts
    9%
  • Marching Band and Color Guard
    6%
  • Food Fair
    5%

Students

Diversity
A-
Based on racial and economic diversity and survey responses on school culture and diversity from students and parents.
Students
2,173
Free or Reduced Lunch
7%
95%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.43 responses
88%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.42 responses
77%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are athletic.43 responses

Teachers

Student-Teacher Ratio
30:1
National
16:1
Average Teacher Salary
Teachers in First/Second Year
14.2%
72%
of students and parents agree that the teachers give engaging lessons.65 responses
83%
of students and parents agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.65 responses
92%
of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom.65 responses

Clubs & Activities

Clubs & Activities
B+
Based on student and parent reviews of clubs and activities.
Girls Athletic Participation
Average
Boys Athletic Participation
High
Expenses Per Student
$10,512/ year
National
$12,239
93%
of students and parents agree that there are plenty of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in.68 responses
74%
of students and parents agree that clubs and organizations get the funding they need.68 responses
88%
of students and parents agree that lots of students participate in clubs and organizations.68 responses
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Northwood High School Reviews

426 reviews
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If you're a high achieving student (your schedule is loaded with either honors classes freshman year, or APs your junior and senior year), Northwood can be a very competitive environment. I was a relatively "average" high achieving student and it was pretty stressful for me.

I will say though, as a school in a relatively affluent community, Northwood has TONS of resources. VAPA is super strong and ROP classes are extremely well-stocked (video production and culinary classes are AMAZING.)
On the flip side, our sports teams (particularly football, has a pretty bad rep). School spirit is sometimes okay. But in the group I hang out with, it's pretty lacking. Will definitely differ from your friend group to friend group.

Overall, a pretty high-intensity school where people can be a bit more focused on academics than they should be, but not a bad school at all. Most English/Humanities teachers are pretty great too!
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I have immensely enjoyed my time at Northwood and would give it 5 stars if not for the AWFUL teaching. The campus is beautiful, the students are nice, the clubs/activities are wonderful, but the teaching is lackluster. Teachers often get the undeserved credit, when it's really their students who are high achieving. The math and science curriculums are especially bad. Math teachers here do not, I repeat, DO NOT teach! They believe in a hands-off concept where it's up to the students to understand new lessons. This unconventional method of teaching may be good for some, but definitely not for most. The rest of the humanities and VAPA teachers are mostly wonderful. It just seems to be those two departments (math & science) that cause Northwood to not be a 5 star school. Northwood seems to hire based off a teacher's resume rather than their ability to actually teach their subject. All in all, I look back at my time at Northwood as wonderful (if not for those rotten apples).
The writing sequence is spectacular at this school! (and the only classes of the core curriculum that I enjoyed). Teachers are challenging but engaging. They are there to make sure that you will not rest until every word is meaningfully analyzed and even then, there is a treasure trove of meaning yet to uncover! You grow much as a writer if you take the work seriously and read!

However, be warned if you are interested in science: the Integrated Science program (freshmen and sophomore core science classes) is geared towards a breadth of knowledge of the multiple fields of science without carefully setting up a sound foundation for AP courses. It's a rough transition into junior year!