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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Northwood recognized as California Distinguished School

Andrew Le
TOGETHER TOWARDS EXCELLENCE: Freshmen Colin Harris and Doah Lee help each other with math homework in the Media Center.

Northwood was the only IUSD high school to receive the California Distinguished School Award in 2024, as announced by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond on Feb. 29.

Northwood previously won the title in 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2021, and will hold the title for the next two years. The award is given in alternate years to elementary schools and secondary schools, meaning that Northwood will not be eligible to receive the award again until 2026.

“Anytime the school is recognized for something, it’s nice to have the validation from outside people that our teachers do a great job in helping our students learn and grow,” principal Leslie Roach said. “Anytime you win an award like that it’s a nice recognition and compliment.”

The award is given to schools based on their efforts to close the achievement gap by enrolling disadvantaged students or by achieving high scores on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), a standardized test taken by all juniors in California to measure their aptitude in math, science and language arts based on content taught in past school years. Northwood attempted to reach both of these achievements throughout the past year by personalizing student enrollment in classes and preparing them for the CAASPP.

The California Department of Education additionally considers the quality of school culture and student safety on campus. Students take surveys to monitor and evaluate their classes, which the administration uses to place students in classes that are best suited to their educational needs. 

Another way Northwood strives to improve its school culture is through advisement, or homeroom, where students are assigned one teacher throughout their whole high school career. Advisors identify students’ mental wellness, schedule classes in conferences and work to create an overall positive environment to help students learn and perform their best.

Link Crew is another program where upperclassmen connect with incoming freshmen to help them adjust to high school. 

“For 9th grade, Link Crew comes every week and has fun things for freshmen to do,” alumni and history teacher Kyle Kim-E said. “Advisement is really important because it’s the same people you see over the course of your high school career, and you get to go through the highs and lows together.”

Teachers work to provide a well-rounded school experience for every student, not motivated by the award, but for the betterment of their students, according to administrators. By combining education with an emphasis on student mental health, Northwood staff seeks to provide a unique educational experience to help students succeed in high school.

“The teachers at Northwood as a whole, compared to any other high school staff in the world, have more spirit of continued improvement than any other staff I’ve seen,” Roach said. “They’re always trying to improve, and I think that our kids benefit from that.”

Although they are not eligible to win the award for another two years, Northwood hopes to continue to uphold their quality of teaching and maintain a welcoming, inclusive school culture.

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About the Contributors
Timothy Shin
Timothy Shin, Staff Writer
Tim is a Staff Writer on the Northwood Howler. You’ll catch him in his free time hanging around his favorite clubs (like Ecclesia, Aviation Club and Thrive Club), practicing the trumpet for the marching band, and ranting on how Oppenheimer was the greatest film of the decade.
Andrew Le
Andrew Le, Photographer
Andrew Le is a Northwood Junior and a photographer for The Howler. He spends his time trying to catch up on F1 (and watching everyone try to catch up to Max), listening to music, riding bikes, or sleeping.

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