Academics

  • "What Am I Doing to Learn as Much as I Can?"  
    It is ultimately your responsibility to learn, but we are here to help.

     

    - Establish realistic, specific, small goals that will help you reach your big goals. "I will do my homework or look over the day's learning each night 7pm-9pm" "I will write assignments, tests, and due dates in my calendar book before I leave the classroom each period."

     

    - Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Look for ways to capitalize on your strengths and overcome your weaknesses. "I always get sleepy during 1st period, so I will look for ways to keep from nodding off in class." "I'm much better at studying for my test when I'm listening to music instead of watching TV."

     

    - Know what your current grade is. Pay attention to how your teachers calculate grades. Don't blow off the quiz that counts 20%. Understand how to read your transcript and calculate your Grade Point Average (GPA). Know how many credits you need to move from one grade to the next.

     

    - When what you're doing isn't working, get some help. Meet with your counselor regularly. Visit the Learning Center (H15) to find out about tutors. Ask your teacher how you can get extra help.

     

    The Student Services Office is located at the top of West Hall and Main Hall, next to the Front Office.

     

    Arrange a Student/Teacher/Parent Conference

    You and/or your parents may arrange a conference with your teachers by contacting your guidance counselor. Most conferences take place before or after school.

     

    Parent-Teacher Communication

    Parents and students are encouraged to call or email teachers when questions and/or concerns arise. Teacher extensions and email addresses can be found by clicking on the subject area on the left side of this page or by calling the Front Office (919-560-3956, press 0(zero)).

     

     

    Academics

    Northern High School provides a comprehensive instructional program which balances offerings in academic, vocational, and performing arts courses. Our goal at Northern is to set high expectations for all students and to prepare them to think creatively and responsibly in a rapidly changing world.

    We organize instruction around a four period day. We employ a wide variety of instructional strategies to address a variety of learning styles and needs. We are constantly striving to update our technological capabilities.

     

    Grading Scale System 

    Durham Public Schools uses a 10-point grading scale system.

    A (90-100)...................Excellent

    B (80-89).....................Good

    C (70-79).....................Average

    D (60-69).....................Poor

    F (Below 60)................Failing

     

     

    Credits for Promotion

    For every course you pass, you earn 1 credit.

    9th grade students must earn 6 credits to be promoted to the 10th grade.

    Students must earn 12 credits to be promoted to the 11th grade.

    Students must earn 20 credits to be promoted to the 12th grade.

    Students must earn 28 credits for graduation.

    If you exceed 10 absences in a semester course, you may lose credit for that particular course. You may need to request a waiver of the minimum attendance requirement by appeal to the attendance committee.

     

    Calculating Your GPA

    The non-weighted conversion table shown is mandated by the State of North Carolina - Standardized Transcript.

     

     90-100 = 4.00 

     

     80-89 = 3.00 

     

     70-79 = 2.00 

     

     60-69 = 1.00 

     < 60 = 0.00 

     

     

    Quality Points added to GPA for each Honors and IB MYP class

     - Class of 2019 - +0.5

     - Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018 - +1.0

     

    Quality Points added to GPA for each AP, Dual Enrollment and IB MYP class

     - Class of 2019 - +1.0

     - Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018 - +2.0

     

    For more information, go to http://www.dpsnc.net/pages/Durham_Public_Schools/Parent_Resources/10-pt_Grading_Scale

     

     

     

    EOC and VOCAT Standardized Tests

    The state of North Carolina mandates that many academic classes and vocational electives give a state standardized test at the end of the semester. Academic tests are called EOCs (End of Course) and elective tests are called VOCATS (Vocational Aptitude Tests).

     

    State standardized tests will count for 20% of your final grade.

     

    The academic classes that have EOCs are Common Core Math I, Biology, and English II.

     

    VOCATS are administered in all Career Pathway elective classes: Microsoft classes, Multi-Media and Webpage Design, Business and Personal Finance, all Marketing classes, Foods and Nutrition, Parenting, Culinary Arts courses, Auto Tech, all Drafting courses, and all Construction courses.

     

     

     

    Advanced Placement Classes at Northern

    Advanced Placement classes raise the bar. They are designed for students who want to take more rigorous classes, earn college credit and placement, and show admissions offices they are ready to attend their university. AP classes are taught by dedicated, knowledgeable faculty who must be approved by the College Board. At Northern, we offer:

     

    Art

    Biology

    Calculus AB

    Calculus BC

    Chemistry

    Comparative Government

    Computer Science

    English Language

    English Literature

    Environmental Science

    European History

    French

    Government & Politics  

    Human Geography

    Music Theory

    Physics

    Spanish

    Statistics

    Studio Art

    US Government

    US History

     

     

     

     

     

    Specialty Course Offerings

    Along with a rigorous list of comprehensive high school courses, including over 20 Advanced Placement class selections, Northern also offers these specialty courses. Not all courses are available at all grade levels. Some require a pre-requisite course. Please contact our Student Services Office for more information.

     

    Career and Technical Education

    --Culinary Arts

    --Agriculture Science and Sustainability

    --Fire Academy and Public Safety

    --Environmental and Natural Resources

    --Automotive Technology

    --Business Marketing

    --Sports and Entertainment Marketing

    --Entrepreneurship

    --Personal Finance

     

    Science Education

    --Astronomy

    --Forensic Science

     

    Mathematics/Computer Education

    --Computer Programming

    --Computer Gaming and Gaming Design

     

    Health and Physical Education

    --Outdoor Education

    --Sports Medicine

    --First Aid

    --Anatomy and Physiology

     

    English and Literature

    --Mythology

    --Creative Writing

    --Contemporary Literature

     

    Social Studies

    --Law and Justice

    --Philosophy

    --International Relations

     

    World Languages

    --Spanish

    --French

    --Italian

     

    Visual and Performing Arts

    --Intensive Beginning Art

    --Studio Art

    --Jazz and Percussion Ensembles

    --Separate Ladies' and Men's Chorus

    --Technical Theater

     

     

    Faculty Achievements

    * Thirteen National Board Certified Teachers

     

    * 46% of faculty hold masters or advanced degrees

     

    * Faculty members recognized as outstanding educators, leaders, and mentors with accolades including:

    ---Durham Public Schools Teacher of the Year

    ---Durham Public Schools Top 10 Finalist for Teacher of the Year

    ---NC Exceptional Children's Teacher of Excellence

    ---National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine

    ---Educator of Excellence (Science)

    ---Bread Loaf School of English scholarship recipients

    ---"Inspirational Teacher" Award

    ---Selection for participation in National Science Foundation Research Consortium

     

    * Grants for innovative programs funded by: 
    ---Durham Public Education Network
    ---Piedmont Electric Bright Ideas
    ---Donors Choose
    ---Durham Sales & Marketing Executives
    ---Leave No Trace Connect
    ---Apple Computer, Inc.