Frequently Asked Questions
What is it like to study at Northern?
Northern’s curriculum is designed to provide every student a complete general education that is grounded in strong moral values. There are four programs (tracks), depending on students’ abilities and interests.
The Academic track is for general education and prepares students to enter college and pursue a wide range of professional interests and occupations. The art tracks provide an emphasis on rigorous training in the arts and prepares students for a college education specialized in the arts and careers in the arts. Students are given a broad range of opportunities both within the arts and outside the arts and are allowed to develop in the way that best suits their strengths and talents.
Students interested in performing arts will have numerous opportunities throughout the year to take part in live performances to improve their skills. Northern also offers hands-on opportunities for students to take part in projects in science research institutions and government agencies. These extracurricular activities can integrate the students’ learning into practical use and greatly enhance their competitiveness in seeking professional careers and/or college admissions.
Northern also provides an environment that encourages students to become proficient in both English and Chinese by graduation.
What is the Northern performing arts program like?
At Northern, students receive unique and rigorous artistic instruction in classical dance, music, and fine arts so that they may become artists of outstanding training and talent. At the same time, students also receive a top quality academic education. In this way, they may be college-ready while developing their potential to be outstanding artists at a professional level.
Can I switch from one track of program to another during the academic year?
Students can switch tracks depending on their abilities and interests. Students are allowed to switch into the arts track only if their abilities are at a high enough level.
Students must follow the Track Transfer Policy and Procedures as exemplified in this Dance Track Application.
Do I have to have a high grade point average to be admitted to Northern?
It is expected that the average Northern student will have maintained a high average at his or her previous school. In general, grades 6-7 applicants must achieve Average or above in all subjects rated by teachers on report cards and grades 8-12 applicants must have an average GPA of 3.0.
What is an ordinary school day like at Northern?
Students typically attend classes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During that time, students have regular opportunities to meet with teachers to seek additional help or speak with advisors about their current status and future goals. There are ten periods in a day plus a one-hour lunch break, and students typically take 10 classes a day. Some classes meet for double periods one day a week.
Northern students are typically involved with dance, music or science project commitments in addition to core academic classes. After dinner, students attend dance and music practices, and/or study groups. On school nights, study hours begin at 7:10 p.m. Students must be signed in to their dormitories at 9 p.m.
What activities are available on the weekends?
On the weekends, there are various social outings and events, including trips to shopping and dining areas, group sports and games, dance performances, concerts, and movie viewings.
On Saturdays during non-holiday weekends, our arts students will have rehearsals and ESL students will have extra classes. Etiquette classes are usually held on Saturdays.
What is the dress code at Northern?
Northern students are expected to follow the school's uniform policy and wear uniforms on designated school days.
On casual days, students also need to wear proper clothing that is neither too tight nor too revealing. Clothing should not contain distracting images or words. No shorts or sandals are permitted in class.
Are there computers available at Northern?
Northern is equipped with student computers that have high-speed Internet access and up-to-date software.
Who would I talk to about advising?
Each Northern student is assigned an adviser who provides a means for students to feel heard and offers advice and tips on how to deal with everyday issues, being academic, social, or personal. This adviser is someone who a student can go to at any time with questions or concerns. Advisers periodically check in on students, typically on a weekly basis.
How will Northern prepare me for college?
The Northern curriculum is designed to prepare students for a college education. Additionally, the Office of College Planning closely guides 11th and 12th graders through the college admissions process. This process begins in the winter of 11th grade and continues through the fall and winter of 12th grade. With the assistance of the Office and their advisers, students review their own academic standing, contemplate their aspirations, review the job market, research the college that is right for him or her, and, finally, apply.
To what colleges do Northern graduates commonly go?
In 2018, our seniors received acceptance letters from a dozen colleges and some received scholarships. These colleges include College of Wooster, Brock University, Texas A&M University, University of Texas at Dallas, Allegheny College, George Mason University, Ithaca College, SUNY University at Albany, and Fei Tian College-Middletown.
Where will I live?
After a student has been accepted, he or she will be assigned a dormitory or host family based on grade level, national origin, gender, and language abilities as well as availability of residence options. Students may report any issues with their living circumstances to the Office of Student Affairs and/or their advisers.
How safe is Northern’s campus?
The Northern campus is relatively remote and removed from busy sections of Middletown. Our staff who act as safety officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visitors are prohibited from entering school buildings without official authorization and every dormitory is locked at night from the inside. Students are equipped with students IDs and passcodes to ensure their safety.
How do students do laundry?
Northern students have access to washing machines and dryers located in each dormitory or host family home.
What is the application fee?
The application fee is $40 ($80 for international students).
What if I have a disability?
The Office of Student Affairs coordinates services and accommodations for students with long-term or temporary cognitive, psychological and/or physical disabilities.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, applicants with disabilities who are otherwise qualified for admission to Northern are guaranteed equal access to programs and services. A student must present documentation indicating that the disability substantially limits some major life activity, such as learning.
What health services are available?
Students have access to a medical center on campus and have the option to participate in daily exercises and meditation that improve and maintain mental and physical health. The school physician and the nurse are available for individual appointments during office hours and a doctor is on call after hours.
What religious services are offered at Northern?
Students may choose to practice any religion. Northern honors most major religious holidays and their heritages. There are local churches and other religious services that students may choose to attend.