Niles West High School

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For schools of a similar name, see West High School (disambiguation).
Niles West High School
Niles West.gif
5701 W. Oakton St.
Skokie, Illinois, 60077
Coordinates 42°01′28″N 87°46′20″W / 42.0244°N 87.7723°W / 42.0244; -87.7723Coordinates: 42°01′28″N 87°46′20″W / 42.0244°N 87.7723°W / 42.0244; -87.7723
School type public, comprehensive secondary
Opened 1959
School district Niles Twp. HS District 219
NCES District ID 1728530[1]
Superintendent Dr. Nanciann Gatta[2]
NCES School ID 172853002988[1]
Principal Jason Ness [3]
Teaching staff 178.37 (FTE)[1]
Grades 9-12[1]
Gender coed[1]
Enrollment 2,698[1] (2011–2012)
Student to teacher ratio 14.13:1[1]
Campus type suburban[1]
Color(s)      red
Athletics conference Central Suburban League[4]
Team name Wolves[4]
Newspaper Niles West News
Yearbook Spectrum

Niles West High School, or NWHS, is a public four-year high school located in Skokie, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, in the United States. It is part of Niles Township Community High School District 219, which also includes Niles North High School, and Niles East High School.[5] Its school teams were originally the Indians, but this was later changed in 2001 to the Wolves. Its feeder middle schools are Lincoln Junior High School (located in Skokie), Fairview South School (located in Skokie), Lincoln Hall Middle School (located in Lincolnwood), Culver Middle School (located in Niles), and Park View School (located in Morton Grove).


Niles West High School sits on over an acre of land. The school opened in 1959.

In 1996, the Niles Township Federation of Teachers went on a strike for two weeks over negotiations with administrators. During that time numerous students staged a walkout and pledged their allegiance to Niles West. Strikes have also happened in 1979 and 1985 with similar results.


In 2007, Niles West had an average composite ACT score of 22.3, and graduated 93.4% of its senior class.[6] The average class size is 19.2.[6] In 2012, Newsweek ranked Niles West on its list of the Top 1000 Public Schools in the nation.

Niles West has recently been honored with the following:

  • Outstanding Cooking Teacher of the Year
  • Two Illinois History Teachers of the Year
  • Four theatrical productions taken to Illinois High School Theatre Festival ("The Grapes of Wrath" in 2002, Mary Zimmerman's "Metamorphoses" in 2004, "The Complete History of America: Abridged" in 2009, and "Xanadu" in 2012.)


A change instituted at the start of the 2005-2006 school year included a switch to a schedule similar to that of New Trier High School with nine 42-minute classes, and the possibility of taking select classes in the early morning, before classes officially begin. Homeroom has been moved to the middle of the day in an effort to prevent students from missing it.


  • Multiple computer labs, including one "walk-in" lab
  • Technology Leadership Program, where students help other students and/or senior citizens
  • Cisco IPTV, being phased out and replaced by similar on-demand internet videos
  • Sponsorship of
  • Dell Computers in every science room, approx. 70-80 laptops (may be shared with Niles North High School)
  • Computers in each department's "Resource Center"
  • VoIP phones in every class room
  • "Language Lab", with top-of-the-line computers linked with the teachers to allow the instructors full control
  • E-mail and storage (accessible at home via POP3, IMAP, and FTP) for all students and staff
  • Netbooks issued to all new students starting from the class of 2014

Student life[edit]


The "West Word" student newspaper has been awarded first place for seven years running, with special merit twice, by the American Scholastic Press Association Newspaper contest.[7] Starting in the 2010–2011 school year, the print newspaper was retired, renamed "Niles West News", and moved online.

The Dance Marathon/School Chest raised over $83,000 for Children's Oncology Services, Inc. Niles West DM in partnership with Niles North High School have raised over a hundred-and-fifty thousand dollars for numerous charities in the past.[citation needed]

In addition, the Niles West Science Olympiad team has found success. They've gone to the national competition twice, the highest rank being 8th place overall, and remain within the top 10 at the state level in Illinois.

Fine Arts[edit]

In April 2007, Niles West, together with Niles North, received the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and National School Boards Association Award for excellence in arts education.[8]

In March 2009, Niles West's Poetry Slam Team beat out over fifty other high schools and won Young Chicago Authors' citywide Louder than a Bomb competition and went on to compete nationally at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival that summer.[citation needed]

In summer 2010, the Niles West High School Theatre Department performed at the 2010 American High School Theatre Festival in Scotland.[9]

In March 2013, Niles West High School will be the host of the SingStrong Chicago a cappella festival, raising money for the Alzheimer's Association.[10]


Niles West competes in the Central Suburban League and Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Teams are stylized as the Wolves.

Until June 2000, at the end of the 1999–2000 school year, the sports teams were known as Niles West Indians, a name which was changed to the Wolves so as not to offend Native Americans. The school colors are still red and white, although wolf murals and symbolism appear throughout the school.

Niles West sponsors interscholastic athletic teams for men and women in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Men may also compete in baseball, Water polo, football, and wrestling. Women may compete in cheerleading and softball. While not sponsored by the IHSA, the school also sponsors a Poms team for women.[11]

The baseball team has won two IHSA state championships (1971–72 and 74–75).[12] The girl's basketball team won the IHSA state championship in 1978-79.[12]

The central athletic stadium, used by football, soccer, and track & field is Mike Basrak Field named in honor of a long-time football coach/teacher.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Niles West High School". Statistical analysis. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). October 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Your Superintendent @ Work". Curriculum vitae. Niles Township High School District 219. 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Principal's Page". Niles West High School. 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Skokie (Niles West)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 27 August 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Topic Galleries -". Chicago Tribune. 
  6. ^ a b Class of 2007 school report card[dead link]
  7. ^ ; merican Scholastic Press Association, accessed 25 December 2009
  8. ^ Kennedy Center: Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network
  9. ^ Niles West's Theatre Department Plans Fundraisers For Trip To Scotland Film Festival | SkokieNet Community Information Network
  10. ^ SingStrong :: A Cappella Festival
  11. ^ Niles West Athletic Department; accessed 11 April 2009[dead link] The following teams have finished in the top 4 of their respective IHSA state championship tournaments: IHSA Season Summaries for Niles West HS; accessed 11 April 2009
  12. ^ a b "Skokie (Niles West) Season Summaries". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 3 August 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 

External links[edit]