Northwood High School (Irvine, California)

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Northwood High School
4515 Portola Parkway


United States
Coordinates33°44′02″N 117°45′02″W / 33.73395°N 117.75043°W / 33.73395; -117.75043Coordinates: 33°44′02″N 117°45′02″W / 33.73395°N 117.75043°W / 33.73395; -117.75043
School typeSecondary
MottoFor the Good of the Pack
School districtIrvine Unified
SuperintendentTerry Walker
PrincipalLeslie Roach
Enrollment2038 (Fall 2017)
Color(s)             White, Silver, Navy Blue
Athletics conferencePacific Coast League
Team nameTimberwolves
RivalWoodbridge High School
NewspaperThe Howler
YearbookThe Element

Northwood High School is a public high school located in the northernmost part of Irvine, CA, USA. It opened in 1999 but the first graduating class did not graduate until 2002. In 2016, Northwood was ranked 25 nationally in Newsweek's list of top public high schools.[1]


The school operates on an alternating block schedule, in which students attend odd-period classes (1, 3, 5, and 7) on one day and even-period classes (2, 4, 6, and 8) the following day. Classes are 90 minutes long and meet for either 18 weeks (semester) or 36 weeks (year-long). On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students attend a tutorial session, which lasts for 40 minutes between the first and second classes of the day, and can be used at the students' discretion. Every Wednesday is designated a "late-start," in which classes start an hour later than the regular schedule. All students, with the exception of seniors, are required to take a minimum of six classes per semester.[2] Seniors are required to enroll in a minimum of five classes for the fall semester and four for the spring.

In 2005, 2009, and 2012, the school was recognized as a California Distinguished School[3] and in 2006 was also named a Blue Ribbon School.[4]

Location and layout[edit]

Northwood High School sits in a narrow valley in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, and was surrounded by working avocado groves at its founding. Currently, the surrounding land is now Orchard Hills, a residential community extending north from the existing community of Northwood Pointe. Northwood High School's site had been designated for a high school from the very beginning as part of the Irvine Company's master plan, which was drafted in 1960.

Student activities[edit]

The music program has also received the Grammy Signature School award multiple times, the latest in 2015.[citation needed]

In 2006, Northwood Marching Band has won 1st in 5A division at The Huntington Beach High School Surf City Open. In 2008, the band placed 1st in 5A division at the Newport Beach Open.

Northwood's Speech and Debate team has won the title of #1 Speech and Debate Team in Orange County.[citation needed] In 2018, Northwood students won the title of State Runner-Up Champions at the California High School Speech Association Championships.

Also in 2018, Northwood's Boys Swim Team won the title of CIF and State Champions.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "America's Top High Schools 2016". Newsweek. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  2. ^ Northwood High School (NHS) opened in the fall of 1999
  3. ^ Distinguished School Awards - California School Recognition Program (CA Dept of Education)
  4. ^ Microsoft Word - list-2003.doc

External links[edit]