Newtown High School (Connecticut)

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Newtown High School
Newtown HS logo CT.jpg
12 Berkshire Road
Sandy Hook, Connecticut 06482
United States
Type Public high school
School district Newtown Public Schools
NCES School ID 090291000615[1]
Principal Lorrie Rodrigue
Faculty 123.55 (on FTE basis[1]
Grades 912
Enrollment 1,731[1] (2010–11)
Student to teacher ratio 14.01[1]
Color(s) Blue and Gold          
Team name Nighthawks
Rival Masuk High School
Accreditation New England Association of Schools and Colleges (1948–)
Newspaper The Hawkeye

Newtown High School is an accredited public high school in Newtown, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010–11 school year, the school serves 1,731 students in grades 9–12 and employs more than 123 full time equivalent teachers. It is the only high school of the Newtown Public Schools.

Newtown High has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1948 and was awarded the Blue Ribbon Award for Schools of Excellence in 2000.[2][3][4]



Expansion of the Newtown High School in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, which was completed in early 2012.

In 1996 the school underwent a major reconstruction, including the addition of a 88,000-square-foot (8,200 m2) addition to the eastern side of the school. A new track and football field were also constructed, and extra seating was installed in the stadium. The reconstruction was complete by January 1998 and the school fully re-opened.

In 2004, the athletic fields behind the school underwent major reconstruction. The entire area was leveled, and new baseball, softball, soccer and football fields were built.

The school has the largest auditorium of any school in the state, with a seating capacity of over 1200.[citation needed]

Renovations began in 2008 on a 77,000-square-foot (7,200 m2) addition. The main building of the expansion was scheduled to open in the fall of 2010, but instead was completed in early 2012. The expansion project included adding a full new wing of three floors, including new classrooms and teachers' offices and a cafetorium (auditorium and cafeteria); renovating the gymnasium; and building a new 400-square-foot (37 m2) greenhouse. In addition, the football field and track were renovated and much more parking was added. The expansion was fully completed in January 2010.[5] With the expansion, the school's area is 376,000-square-foot (34,900 m2).

MRSA scare[edit]

On October 17, 2007, two cases of MRSA strain staph infections were reported at Newtown High School. The school put precautions in place to protect students from this potentially fatal bacterial infection.[6]

Interfaith prayer service[edit]

Sandy Hook interfaith vigil

On the evening of December 16, 2012, Newtown High School was the scene of a prayer service commemorating the twenty children and six adults killed by Adam Lanza during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012. Lanza had previously attended Newtown High School through the tenth grade.[7]

President Barack Obama delivered a reflection at the end of the service. Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy offered some thoughts prior to the President's remarks. The entire service was broadcast nationwide on CNN.[8]


NHS offers numerous AP-level courses and language studies in French, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, and Latin. Electives are offered in band, orchestra, chorus, theater, art, business, sciences, history, and technology.

Major department areas:

  • English
  • Fine and Applied Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • World Languages

Newtown High School also operates an alternative learning program called TAP (The Afternoon Program) that operates from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Thursdays. Students who attend this program work at a paying job or perform community service for credits.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The Newtown High School mascot and athletic emblem is the Nighthawk with blue and gold serving as the school colors.


The Newtown Nighthawks compete in the Colonial Division of the South West Conference. All SWC schools are members of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.[9] The Nighthawks participate in cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, football, soccer, swimming, volleyball, basketball, ice hockey, indoor track, wrestling, baseball, golf, lacrosse, softball, tennis, and track.

Until 1996, the school's teams were called "The Indians;" they featured an Indian mascot. This was changed among controversy of the mascot being racist in nature. In 1996, local Connecticut students, all native American and actively involved with their culture, visited Newtown High School and explained that the pep rally and game activities -- the war chants, tomahawk chants, the Indian costumes and dancing -- trivialize religious customs. Representatives from other local tribes explained that mascots should not depict a race or ethnic group because it is dehumanizing.[10] They were renamed the Newtown Nighthawks.[11]

Marching band and color guard[edit]

The school marching band, the Newtown High School Marching Nighthawks, went undefeated in their 2005, 2006, and 2007 seasons under their director Kurt Eckhardt. The band earned 3 straight Musical Arts Conference Class IV championships, won the USSBA 2006 CT State Class IV championship, placed in the top 10 in the USSBA 2007 Group IV Nationional Championships,[12] claimed the title of MAC Class V Champions 2011, and were USSBA Class 5 Open CT State Champions, where the color guard was ranked #1 overall. The Color Guard competes every year at Winter Guard International World Championships in Dayton, Ohio and recently placed #22 out of over 100 competitors. The marching band also performed in the 1995 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for Newtown High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Member Details, Newtown High School". Commission on Public Secondary Schools (CPSS), New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Riley Names 198 Blue Ribbon Schools" (Press release). United States Department of Education. May 22, 2000. Retrieved December 27, 2006. 
  4. ^ "Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Schools Recognized 1982–1983 Through 1999–2002" (PDF). Retrieved December 27, 2006. 
  5. ^ Stacy Davis (December 29, 2011). "Newtown High School addition almost done – maybe". NewsTimes. Newtown. 
  6. ^ "Students at 2 Conn. high schools diagnosed with resistant bug". 7 News. HARTFORD, Conn. October 17, 2007. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 
  7. ^ Kreider, Randy. "Adam Lanza's Mom Pulled Him Out of School: Relative". ABC News. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 
  8. ^ Sandoval, Edgar. "President Obama attends Newtown vigil, offers 'love and prayers of a nation' to families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Membership Information, Newtown High School". Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Thompson, W. (January 12, 2012). "Confessions of a Newtown Sports Parent". Newtown Patch. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 
  12. ^ "USSBA 2007 National Championship Scoresheet". YEA!. Retrieved December 13, 2007. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°24′50″N 73°16′33″W / 41.414°N 73.2758°W / 41.414; -73.2758