|Northport High School|
154 Laurel Hill Road
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Northport-East Northport Union Free School District|
|Faculty||Northport High School Faculty — Current Staff Directory|
|Teaching staff||1,991 (2016-17)|
|Color(s)||Blue and Gold|
|Website||Northport High School|
Northport High School is a four-year secondary school in East Northport, New York, that serves as the high school for the Northport-East Northport Union Free School District which is composed of Northport, Eatons Neck, Asharoken and much of East Northport, all located in the Town of Huntington. Northport High School is home to over 2,000 students and 270 staff members and offers the International Baccalaureate program, two National Academy programs (Finance & Information Technology), Project Lead the Way, Project P.A.T.C.H. and more than 20 Advanced Placement courses. The school's athletic teams are known as the Tigers.
Northport High School is located on the corner of Elwood and Laurel Hill Roads. Although it's called Northport High School, it technically sits on East Northport land. To the west is a Wilson Technological Center campus, part of Western Suffolk BOCES. The Long Island Rail Road's Port Jefferson Branch bounds the school to the south.
A high school department was first organized in Northport in 1896, with the first graduating class following in 1900. Classes were held along with other grade levels at the only School in Northport located on School Street. In 1924, all grades were relocated to a new 500-student K-12 school located on Laurel Avenue. In 1938 all elementary school students were transferred out to newly constructed schools, leaving the Laurel Avenue school as a Junior/Senior High School. Currently Laurel Avenue School functions as the district office.
After World War II, servicemen returning from overseas brought tremendous population growth to suburban Long Island. The subsequent baby boom led to explosive school enrollment, which resulted in rampant school overcrowding throughout the 1950s. To accommodate this growth the High School and Junior High School had to separate. In January 1956 the High School relocated to a new campus-style school located on Middleville Road. This was the third home for Northport High School students but the first facility to bear the name Northport High School. But the new school building still couldn't remedy the overcrowding problem, forcing the high school to become a three-year school by moving the 9th grade down to the Junior High Schools. As overcrowding continued to worsen, Northport High School had to go on an overlapping session in 1962-63, and on double session from 1964 to 1966.
The overcrowding problem was finally remedied with the construction of a new Northport High School on Laurel Hill Road. This new school building opened its doors to approximately 1500 students in the fall of 1966, and remains the location of Northport High School today. In 1988 the school district moved 9th grade back to the High School after 29 years, and renamed all Junior High Schools "Middle Schools". Over 25,000 students have graduated from Northport High School since its inception in 1896.
The main part of the school began construction in 1963, opening for the 1966-67 school year on September 7, 1966. A few years later, the L wing began construction and opened for the 1969-70 school year on September 3, 1969. A unique feature of the school building is the large open area, called the Commons, that visitors enter into immediately from the main entrance. The Commons acts as a hub for the entire school. Both the large and small cafeteria, faculty dining room, library and auditorium are located directly off the Commons, from which students may visit The Tiger's Den (school store) and access almost all of the schools wings. There is a balcony on the north side, providing access to the school's administrative offices and counseling center. The Commons is also a favorite hangout of NHS students who congregate there before and after school, during lunch and free periods. In each corner lies the "wells," partially enclosed recessed areas where students can catch up on work, socialize or relax. The largest well has been designated for the senior class through decades of tradition, leaving the two smaller wells for the junior and sophomore classes. As part of an extensive grade restructuring of the entire Northport-East Northport Union Free School District in 1988, the 9th grade was reassigned from each of the junior high schools (as they were called at the time) to the high school. This created two incoming classes that year, including freshmen for the first time. Since there was no existing well for the new freshman class and one could not be constructed, the high school built the freshman benches instead.
A smaller (Little) theater frequently used by drama classes is located just beyond the commons to the northeast, as are two gyms (large and small) to the southwest. The small gym contains a rock climbing wall and an archery court. Beyond the library on the east side of the building (in the L wing) is another, albeit considerably smaller open area, known as the Small Commons, possessing only islands of lockers.
In 2003, the school underwent construction and expanded. The new K-wing added family and consumer science classrooms on the first floor where the student-run preschool is located and additional regular classrooms on the second floor. The existing A-wing saw a new dance room. Additionally, in the A Wing photography labs, car care classrooms, music administrative office, music classroom, music computer lab, and an orchestra room were added. The PE (Physical Education) Wing also saw renovations. The old weight room was remade into two health infusion classrooms, and a section was added onto the Small Gym. A new weight room was built off of the small gym. A part of the existing L wing also underwent renovations. Construction was complete for the 2004–05 school year.
NHS offers a wide variety of classes in many subjects. Advance Placement (AP) courses are offered in all the five core departments of English, foreign languages, mathematics, sciences and social studies. In mathematics, the school offers one and two year acceleration programs, in addition to a one year accelerated science program. The high school provides a particularly rich elective program, with study in the art, business and music fields, all of which also offer study at the AP level. Many other honor and college level classes allow students the opportunity to earn college credits colleges like Farmingdale State College (in PROGRAM), Long Island University (in business) and Syracuse University (through Project Advance English and Computer Engineering). The International Baccalaureate Program is offered on the certificate and diploma level.
Northport has a well-established and recognized music program. Many students avail themselves of the chance to explore and excel at all different types of music ranging from voice, band, orchestra, composition, etc. The school was named a Grammy Signature School by the Grammy Foundation four times, in 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2006. MENC: The National Association for Music Education also named Northport as one of the 100 best communities for music education in America.
The art department is another highly recognized department. Students can take higher level AP and IB art classes in addition to computer art, photography, painting, cartoon drawing and sculpture electives. Students have won many different awards for their artistic talents.
For its overall distinction in academics and service, NHS was awarded the Claes Nobel School of Distinction by The National Society of High School Scholars in March 2004.
NHS has two national academy programs, Academy of Finance (AOF) and Academy of Information Technology. AOF teaches business and financial skills. For example, AOF members learn accounting, finance, marketing and management with the opportunity to earn college credit. Students are also eligible for a paid internship, usually during the summer between their junior and senior years. Students in AOIT learn how to utilize new technology in the workplace. Programming, database and web administration are particularly emphasized. Like in the AOF, AOIT students may receive college credit and a paid internship usually just before senior year.
Another specialized program offered at NHS is the Environmental Team (E-Team), an interdisplnary college preparatory program. Students participate in community service, environmental clean-ups, fund-raising and aspects of self-governance.
Participatory Awareness Through Community Help (PATCH) was created by Thomas J. O'Donnell in 1969 in hope of educating more students about the Constitution and United States history and civics. From the PATCH program came several law-related electives offered by the social studies department. One of PATCH's electives, Constitutional Law, supplements the regular New York State eleventh grade American history curriculum and remains popular to this day. PATCH currently partners with Touro Law College and the New York State Bar Association.
NHS offers over 50 clubs and extracurricular activities to the student body. Some of which include: Academic (trivia) Team; Students Helping and Relating to Each Other (SHARE, part of the Natural Helpers program); The Port Press (The High School's Newspaper); Ultimate Intramurals (among others); DECA; Wilderness, Robotics, New York City and foreign languages clubs; Model United Nations; Fashion Club; Interact Club; Science and Math Olympiads; Law Club, and Business, Technology, Music and Art Honor Societies.
The largest and most active student organizations are the National Honor Society and Students for 60,000. The Honor Society runs many school and community services such as peer tutoring, fund raisers, the Senior Citizens' Prom and several other community outreach programs. The society's most notable event is A Midwinter Nights Dream which has raised $2,500,000 toward research for a cure for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Students for 60,000 is a community service group that assists those in the Northport community and beyond: twice a year the club travels to Nicaragua to assist the needy there.