Future Bronco News

For all incoming 9th grade families!

Welcome to Northgate!

We are so excited to welcome your 9th grade student to Northgate next year and want to send out some information as we approach our scheduling and planning season.


There are several dates coming up that will offer you and your student a chance to get acquainted with the school. Additionally, these dates will give you critical information on courses as well as their selection, and will offer helpful guidance on how to plan for the year ahead. Participation in these events will help you and your student get ahead in terms of learning how to maximize success at Northgate.

8th Grade Information Night

Thursday, Feb. 20th, 5:30pm

425 Castle Rock Road

Walnut Creek, CA

Parents and Students welcome!


  • Scheduling packets available starting at 5:00pm
  • Presentation will be in the gym starting at 5:30pm
  • Departments, counselors and administrators will present information and offerings for students to consider when planning for high school
  • Counselors and admin will be available after to answer questions
  • Open House presentations will begin directly after, and our visiting families are welcome to come talk with presenters, view department showcases, and chat with teachers.

Open House

Thursday, Feb. 20th, 6:30pm

425 Castle Rock Road

Walnut Creek, CA

Right after info night. This is a great opportunity to see faculty and students showcase their work from the school year. It will be a great night that will include our "If I Could Change the World" project presentations by 10th grade students, and performances from our dance department.
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Foothill Middle School Counseling Visits

We have arranged for two days for our counselors and administrators to visit Foothill Middle School to meet with students and discuss scheduling choices for the 2019-2020 school year.


March 9th and March 19th

What if my child does not attend Foothill?

We are excited to meet you! If you have any questions about scheduling selections, feel free to contact their academic counselor, organized by alphabet. Email is always best, and they will offer appointments to families who need them, in August.

Who do I contact?

Academic Counselors


Vice Principals

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Intra and Inter District Transfers and the Choice Area

Be sure to contact MDUSD Student Services and visit their webpage for the important information and dates. Student services, not Northgate High School, handles all transfer student paperwork and decisions.

Course Scheduling Packets due to Northgate HS by March 20th!

Where do I get these packets?

Packets will be available at 8th grade info night February 20th, and will also be in our office, MDUSD middle school offices, and online at www.northgatehighschool.org


When it is time to turn it in, they can be submitted to the main office at Northgate, or the office at Foothill, Diablo View or Pine Hollow.

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Offerings in the Arts at NHS

Performing and Visual Arts

Instrumental Music - Auditions and Placement generally in May, working with middle school programs

Contact: Greg Brown, Director- browngjazz@comcast.net


Vocal Music- Auditions and Placement generally in May, working also with middle school programs

Contact: Geoff Carter, Director- carterg@mdusd.org


Dance- Auditions and Placement in May; 9th grade students may be placed in Dance I or II only.

Contact: Kourtnie Howerton- howertonk@mdusd.org


Drama- Auditions and Placement generally in May, working with middle school programs

Contact: John Litten- littenj@mdusd.org


Visual Art- 9th grade students generally begin with Art Design A/B or Intro to Animation; contact department chair for more information

Contact: Carolyn Moore- moorec@mdusd.org

Come See NHS in Action!

Here are some great upcoming events to bring the family to!

  • Winter One Act Plays- Little Theatre- Student written short plays presented by Production Workshop- February 6th and 7th, 7pm
  • Musical America- Little Theatre- Choirs take us through pop and musical theatre awesomeness- Feb 28, 29, Mar 5, 6 and 7, 6pm
  • Area Band and String Festival- Gym- Come see the entire feeder pattern with 3 elementary schools, Foothill Middle, and Northgate HS bands playing together for a night! March 30th 7:30pm for Bands, March 31 for Strings 7:30pm
  • And so many sporting events! See our website calendar for a full list

Bronco Athletics

With more than 25 sports teams at Northgate, our student athletes have many opportunities to get on the field and court and perform.


If your child is interested in playing a sport, please contact the coach and keep an eye on the website for announcements. Our Athletics Webpage includes information on how to register and important dates. All athletes must upload a current physical.


Our sports medicine program has a one day opportunity for athletes to come get their physicals, while also benefiting the program that will help to keep them healthy and playing all year round.


Any further questions, please contact the Athletic Director, Dr. Earle Paynton.

Club Offerings at NHS

Every year, students have the opportunity to form clubs to gather community towards a common purpose or interest. See the attached current club list and know that a goal of our Associated Student Body is to provide multiple opportunities for ALL students to get involved and build connection to their school and their peers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do to get my student enrolled at Northgate?

- If you are from the Choice area or out of residency, please be sure to communicate with student services and follow deadlines. Enrollment is done by the district office.


We are pre-enrolled, now what?

- Course request forms must be completed and submitted in March. Class lists will be emailed during the summer to adjust for errors or changes, and official schedules are given at walk through registration in August.

- All 9th grade families will need to complete an address verification with the Northgate office during a particular time span in August, to be announced later. (Generally the first two weeks in August before walk through registration).


Are there any AP or Honors courses for my 9th grader?

- There are no honors or AP courses that 9th graders take. Many classes are prescribed 9th grade year, including Freshmen PE, Living Earth (Biology), and English I. Math classes are assigned based on 8th grade placement and CAASSP scores.


What is Link Crew?

-Link Crew is our freshman transition program, where junior and senior students are trained to be Link Crew Leaders, and freshmen are put into small groups with two leaders, who remain with them throughout the year. They will meet their leaders at Freshmen Orientation, and continue to interact and receive mentoring and assistance from them throughout the year in Strategic Support.


What is Strategic Support?

- Northgate has a unique bell schedule where built in three times a week are periods of time for students to study and work on homework and outside reading. The first is Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) which is built onto 2nd period- students and staff use this time for academic or leisure reading. The second is Strategic Support (SS) which operates as a separate class, occurring after 4th period and before lunch. 9th grade students are assigned to these classes by link crew, and do not change classes throughout the year. 10th-12th grade students are assigned depending on if they are mentor volunteers (similar to tutors) or if they are struggling in a particular subject area (assigned to tutorial for that subject area), or if they just need the study time.

Some Tips from the Pros

We asked our current 9th grade parents for tips and advice for our incoming families. They shared:


  • Parents should sign up for newsletters and read all the updates/information pieces that come out, NHS does a great job of keeping parents informed.
  • Drop off can get hairy. Allow for plenty of time, as the slow-down is real, drive through the drop off area (pull forward as far as possible before stopping) and do not stay after your child has left the vehicle. Please also remember students are all over the area- illegal u-turns and speeding are unsafe and put all of our children at risk.
  • As a student, the best way to feel like you're a part of the big school is to be involved! Take a look at the club offerings, athletics and arts, and find something to do with your peers!
  • Northgate is a GREAT school. 9th Grade Parents need to trust their children. As their child begins High School, realize it is the first step to growing a happy, productive adult. Don't shelter them and do things for them. Let your child navigate through everything high school has to offer - from Walkthrough before school starts, to their classes and extra curricular activities. Guide them, but let them choose! Both you, and they, will be happier!
Welcome to Northgate High School!
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