Northeast High School (Philadelphia)

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For schools of the same name, see Northeast High School (disambiguation).
Northeast High School
Seal of the Northeast High School of Philadelphia
1601 Cottman Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19111
United States
Type Public high school
Established 1890
Principal Ms. Linda Carrol
Grades 912
Enrollment Approximately 3,600
Color(s)      Black
Team name Vikings

Northeast High School is a high school located at 1601 Cottman Avenue (at Algon Avenue) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

Northeast is one of the oldest high schools in Philadelphia, founded in 1890 as the Northeast Manual Training School. Before 1957, it was located at 8th Street and Lehigh Avenue in Philadelphia (later the home of Thomas Edison High School). As of 2013 Northeast High School will have had 172 Graduating Classes. With the soon departure of Ms. Linda Carroll as Principal, Sharon McColskey is next in line to the Principalship. Some of the best known alumni include Herb Adderley (hall of fame football player), Eddie Stanky (major league baseball player and manager), Guy Rodgers (hall of fame basketball player), Carlos Mina from Buenos Aires, Argentina (hall of fame soccer player) and Sonny Hill (organizer of Philadelphia summer basketball leagues).

The high school was featured in the A&E series Teach: Tony Danza, where actor Tony Danza taught a tenth grade English class during the 2009-2010 school year. It was also the setting for Frederick Wiseman's documentary on high schools in the 1960s titled, simply, High School.

The Northeast High School website is located at and has been developed and maintained by Northeast's web design classes.


Northeast high school students comes from very diverse racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds. According to the school profile generated by the School District of Philadelphia the racial makeup of the school based on the 2011-2012 school year is 34% African American, 21.8% Whites, 22.8% Asian, 17.9% Latino, and 3.5% other races. 14.9% of the school students are English Language Learners. 12.5% with disabilities and 5% of the students are mentally gifted. 60.7% are economically disadvantaged (Student who is a member of a household that meets the income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced-price meals).

Northeast high school has 3,600 students, making it the most populated high school in the city of Philadelphia. When including the teachers and staff, the school contains more than 3,700 people. Some classes struggle to maintain a maximum of 33 students, as the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) contract requires.

Uniform Policy[edit]

Northeast High School’s uniform policy was put into place in November 2009, the school year that Tony Danza taught and filmed the reality show TEACH. The school's uniform policy is enforced everyday, as all students are required to abide by it, as it is the #1 school rule. NEHS students are required to wear a white oxford button-down shirt with tan khaki pants, a belt, and the school’s tie(purchased at the school's store). Dark colored shoes are preferred. Red and maroon sweaters with the embroidered Northeast High School Logo are the only type of outerwear allowed to be worn inside the building during winter months. You may purchased the school sweaters at any Flynn & O’Hara Uniform Centers.

When students become seniors at the school, they are given uniquely designed senior ties & scarves to be worn along with their uniforms. Wearing either a senior tie or senior scarf distinguishes the senior class from the rest of the general student population.

Transportation access[edit]

Northeast High School is easily accessed by SEPTA bus routes 19, 59, 67, 70, and 77. These routes connect with several other routes in the area such as 1, 14, 18, 19, 20, 24, 58, and the Fox Chase Regional Rail line at Ryers Station.

Many students who live out of the immediate area get to school by one of these bus routes from across the city. For those students who live in areas further than a mile away from the school SEPTA provides them with free weekly bus transpasses.


Northeast High School has many sports teams, all of which are known as The Vikings.

The girl's field hockey team has won the Public League Championship the last four out of five years, last being in 2011.

The wrestling team went undefeated and won the school's first championship in wrestling beating Thomas Edison High School 45 to 26 on January 29, 2009. The school won their second championship in wrestling on February 1, 2012 beating Central High School 33 to 28.

In 2012 the boys soccer team won the AAA public league championship after beating Franklin Towne Charter High School 1-0 on October 30, 2012. This gives the team their first championship since 2007.

The boys lacrosse team has won the AAA public league championship back to back years in 2011 and 2012, both times beating George Washington High School giving them their only two championships.

The football team won the AAAA Public League Championship after beating George Washington High School 13-6 on November 13, 2010. This is the first championship for the football team since 1983.


Northeast High School and Central High School have the longest running sports rivalry between public high schools in the country, dating back to 1892.[1] Every Thanksgiving the two schools football teams square off against one another. As of 2011, the record of wins and loses for Northeast High School is 55-51.


Northeast High School has many different programs known as Small Learning Communities (SLCs). Two of these SLCs are the Aerospace, Medical and Engineering Magnet Program and the IB Diploma Programme which both accept students from all sections of Philadelphia that were among the top of their classes in their previous schools.

The Liberal Arts Program is designed to maximize student achievement and maintain a high degree of involvement of parents with faculty team members in the process of education while forming links with the educational community of area colleges. The Liberal Arts SLC also is designed for those students who are college bound and wish a rigorous academic curricula but have not made any career decisions. The SLC provides the choices that are necessary in helping the students set educational goals as well as possible career choices as they proceed through an interdisciplinary curriculum based upon their aptitude and interest. Each SLC has their own ways of how they direct their classes to success, and preparing each student for both College and Careers.

Northeast also boasts an award winning student newspaper, The Megaphone.

The Northeast High School Instrumental Music is one of the most diverse and sought after music programs in the City of Philadelphia. The Program includes a Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and a String Ensemble. On May 2009 the Northeast High School Instrumental program competed and won first place in Orchestra, String Ensemble, and second place Concert Band at Hershey Park, Pennsylvania.

Project Space Research Center (SPARC)[edit]

Northeast High's SPARC program originated in 1962 by Mr. Robert A. G. Montgomery, Jr. Northeast High students united designed and built a three-man space capsule mock-up to test the student astronauts ability to handle the space environment. With the help of a grant from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Heart Association, the program purchased electronic equipment and began to study in flight control instrumentation. Project SPARC was so highly recognized for its work that, during the summer of 1963, NASA invited 18 SPARC students to tour the Marshall Space Flight Center, Manned Spacecraft Center, Cape Canaveral, and the Goddard Space Flight Center.

By the end of 1963, the students had designed a simulated capsule and control area, and construction began on a wing of the stage at the school. The Home and School Association and the Alumni Association made many contributions to aid SPARC. In early May 1964, the first capsule test took place. The chamber was constructed as a closed oxygen-replenishment system.

The SPARC Project was updated to pursue the goals of President George W. Bush's Vision for Space Exploration. Project SPARC was realigned to simulate the NASA Constellation program and its mission to return to the moon. In 2009 Project SPARC flew its first Constellation mission, sending six students to the moon and establishing a two-module lunar habitat. SPARC facilities include a 21' Shuttle Orbiter mockup built by the students, the actual Apollo training capsule from NASA, an eight station mission control center, a movie and animation learning center and electronics and robotics laboratories. Students can utilize a new facility which incorporates computer and electronic action scripts, video presentations and simulations. Like the SPARC project in the 1960s, they are able to simulate the experience of operating a spaceborne mission. SPARC has attempted several simulations in a few different simulators to the moon, orbits around the earth, and to Mars.

In December 2013 the Philadelphia School District, facing difficult budget challenges, cut off funding for all after-school programs including Project SPARC. At the time it appeared the nation’s first high school space program would come to end after more than 50 years. Word soon spread about SPARC’s cancelation and the alumni responded to help save the program. A GoFundMe site was started and social media was used to engage SPARC alumni and friends. $13,000 was raised within the first month and almost $20,000 altogether. These funds enabled the SPARC students to carry out a May 2014 to establish a permanent habitat on the moon. The funding also helped provide some long needed upgrades to SPARC’s infrastructure.[2]

This quick response was followed by the formation of the Northeast High School Project SPARC Boosters ( to help ensure SPARC’s long-term financial sustainability. SPARC students have embraced their legacy and continue to build on SPARC’s history. Two additional missions were conducted during the 2014-15 academic year with a return trip to the moon in December 2014 [3] and a mission to Mars in April 2015. Project SPARC membership includes more than 130 students classified as full-time members. These students have regular responsibilities in the areas of their specialties and they conduct all of the research and operational activities.

Project SPARC's honorary Flight Director is Philadelphia astronaut Chris Ferguson, who has visited the facility and held video teleconferences with the SPARC students from the Houston pace Center.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]

2008 prank[edit]

In 2008, a senior prank saw the release of 87 chickens into the school. The students of class 167 neglected to assist in the clean up for the school which cost the district $5,000 and canceled classes for a day.[7]


  1. ^ Huber, Robert. "Philadelphicon: Northeast vs. Central". Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Adding a SPARC to a simulated moon trip, By John Loftus, Times Staff Writer, May 5, 2010.
  5. ^ Windhausen, John D (2002) [1992]. Dawson, Dawn P, ed. Great Athletes 1 (Revised ed.). Salem Press. pp. 14–16. ISBN 1-58765-008-8. 
  6. ^ "Meet Pete". 
  7. ^ "High School pranks caught on tape". msnbc. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 

4. "Programs." Programs |. N.p., 9 Sept. 2011. Web. 16 July 2012. <>. 5."Home." Northeast High School. Northeast High School, 14 June 2012. Web. 16 July 2012. <>. 6. "School Profile." Northeast High School. SDP, 2011. Web. 16 July 2012. <>.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°03′20″N 75°04′16″W / 40.0556°N 75.0710°W / 40.0556; -75.0710