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Northern High School


Principal: Matthew Hunt
Address: 117 Tom Wilkinson Durham NC 27712
Phone : 919-560-3956
Hours of Operation : 7:30 am - 2:30 pm
Enrollment :
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Northern High School strives to ensure that students achieve at their highest potential, regardless of gender, ethnicity, ability, or socio-economic status. Our mission is to provide a safe environment for learning where every student makes continuous progress and is prepared for a productive future.


Our goal is to set high expectations for all students and to prepare them to learn and think in a rapidly changing world. Northern employs a wide variety of academic learning strategies to address a variety of learning styles and needs. Northern High School has been ranked continually in the top 5% of the nation's best high schools by Newsweek for since 2004.

Northern provides a comprehensive instructional program which balances offerings in academic, vocational, and performing arts courses. We offer required and elective courses in the Arts, Career-Technical Education, English, Foreign Languages including Spanish, French, Latin and German, Health and Physical Education, Junior ROTC, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

Academically/Intellectually Gifted services at the high school level are delivered by offering Honors and Advanced Placement levels of various courses. Northern currently offers 17 AP courses:  English Language, English Literature, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, Psychology, US History, European History, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science, Spanish Language, German Language, Latin, and Studio Art.  

In CTE classes, students take courses in business, marketing, carpentry, auto mechanics, parenting and early child care education, foods and culinary arts, and drafting. Northern is the only school in the Durham School District to offer the Sports & Entertainment Marketing Career Pathway. Students can apply from anywhere in the district to be placed into the program.  Our school also offers four other Career Pathways: Business Technologies, Construction Technologies, Public Service, & Transportation Systems.  

Courses in the fine arts are art, choral music, crafts, dance, marching and concert band, photography, orchestra (strings), technical theater, and theater.  Our student body, faculty, parents, and community regularly enjoy performances and displays of our students’ work. Our Concert Band scored superior ratings in the 2006 Spring Contest in Atlanta, Georgia. Northern’s award-winning Chorus, KnightSounds, went to New York City in the fall of 2006 to sing the national anthem at Ground Zero. Our art and photography students routinely place work in local and state displays. Theater Arts, with contributions from the choral, orchestral, art, and carpentry classes, produces two performances each year. One show is usually a musical.

A broad array of co-curricular activities is also available, including 28 teams in 20 sports, along with many service clubs, curriculum-related clubs, and special interest clubs. Our yearbook, The Polaris, and our newspaper, The Round Table, are regularly recognized for excellence.


State ABC Rating :

  • 2010-11: Expected Growth, Priority (61.6%)
  • 2009-10: Expected Growth, Priority (59.6%)
  • 2008-09: Expected Growth, Priority HIGH (48.5%)

End-of-Course Test Scores

School Scorecard

NC School Report Card


From I-40:

Exit I-40 at Durham Expressway. Exit the Durham Expressway at Duke Street. Proceed North on Duke Street through downtown. Duke and Roxboro streets merge, becoming Roxboro Road (501N). Proceed north to Tom Wilkerson Road. Turn left onto Tom Wilkerson Road. Northern is on the left.

From I-85:

Exit I-85 at Duke Street (Northgate Mall). Proceed North on Duke Street for approximately six miles. Duke will merge with Roxboro Street becoming Roxboro Road (501N). Turn left onto Tom Wilkerson Road. Northern is on the left.

Link to Google Maps

Improvement Plan

Improvement Plan