Since opening in 1972, Northwest Junior High has prided itself in offering an innovative, rigorous academic curriculum that is buttressed by an equally strong co-curricular program. The school is organized into four houses; teachers are assigned to one team and each team consists of roughly 160 students. Utilizing this team concept, teachers work together to assist students to achieve at high levels. The school’s current enrollment is 642 students supported by 40 full and part time faculty members, including a teacher librarian, two counselors, a social worker, and an at-risk caseworker. Northwest also has a full range of special education programs designed to serve students of all abilities.
The school’s success is reflected in its many accolades. Currently, Northwest is the National TEAMS competition champion, the National KMO 3-2-1 Competition champion, and the state leader in MathCounts, winning the Iowa competition the last four years in a row. It is also home to the current DuPont Science Essay National Winner. Its debate team has won seven of the last eight state competitions, and more Northwest students have been awarded gold and silver keys by the Scholastic Art and Writing Award program than any other school in Iowa over the past ten years. Of particular note is the school’s music program, which boasts band, orchestra, and choir as offerings in the regular curriculum and a show choir, a chamber orchestra, and two award-winning jazz bands as co-curricular choices.