An approximate school enrollment of 1,272 students in grades K-12.
A professional staff of 116 employees. Each year, staff members develop professional improvement commitments designed to maximize student achievement.
Scenic 84-acre campus in Albion houses the Northwestern Elementary School (K-5), the Northwestern Middle School (6-8), the Northwestern Senior High School (9-12), as well as the historic one-room Valley School. This site is also home to a number of athletic fields, a gymnasium with a seating capacity of 1,500, and an updated auditorium for drama and musical performances. Springfield Elementary School (K-5), is located in East Springfield, PA, and provides a neighborhood school for children residing in the northwestern part of the District.
Emphasis is on enabling each individual to develop his or her fullest potential through a variety of educational experiences, as well as opportunities for individualized study.
A choice of high school curricula includes majors in college preparatory work, business education, technology education (industrial arts), agriculture, or vocational training (in conjunction with the Erie County Technical School).
District courses are designed to prepare students for the job market after graduation.
Northwestern is the only district in Erie County to offer its students a Vocational Agriculture program.
Advanced work for gifted and talented students is available, including a class for academically gifted elementary students and enrichment activities for those at the secondary level.
Special Education needs are met by teachers who implement an identified student’s Individualized Education Plan. A team including educators, a psychologist, and the child’s parents develop this plan cooperatively.
The state’s assessment system is known as the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). Tests are required under the Chapter 4 Regulations of the State Board of Education and the federal Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) Act. The tests are based on the Pennsylvania’s Common Core Academic Standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Mathematics. These assessments occur yearly for grades three through eight in the areas of ELA (English Language Arts) and mathematics. In grades four and eight, students are also required to participate in a PSSA for science.
Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments in designated content areas. The Keystone Exams serve
two purposes: (1) high school accountability assessments for federal and state purposes, and (2) high school graduation requirements for students beginning with the class of 2017. The Algebra I and Literature Keystone Exams include items written to the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts. The Biology Keystone Exam includes items written to the Assessment Anchor/ Eligible Content aligned to the enhanced Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science.
In conjunction with the Sheriff’s Department of Erie County, the District has a School Resource Officer on campus to provide prevention programs on responsible behavior and school safety to all schools.
Based upon safe school reviews, all District buildings utilize security measures such as securing entrances and exits, surveillance cameras, as well as other appropriate security devices. The District’s School Resource Officer continually reviews and recommends procedures to maintain a safe environment for all students and staff.
Band and Chorus members are chosen each year to participate in district, regional, and state concerts.
Cultural enrichment activities include school-related trips to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New York City, and abroad; the opportunity to participate in musical ensembles at the local, regional, and state levels.
Support services are available for students experiencing difficulties. Available programs include Student Assistance, the Building Level Team, The Caring Place (for children dealing with loss), drug and alcohol prevention and counseling, a drop-out prevention program, special services for teenage parents, and guidance counseling. The district provides tutors for students who require extra help.
An “open door” policy makes school facilities available to civic groups.
A full slate of co-curricular sports and activities, plus free bus transportation for students who participate in after-school activities, encourages student involvement.
GED preparation and an adult diploma program are offered through IU5 to adults residing in the District.
Career Education begins at the elementary level with lessons on career awareness through various in-class assignments and activities. In the middle school, career exploration software, Career Cruising, is introduced and various classroom activities are implemented utilizing these programs. Students will begin to refine their career interests and work towards an on-site experience and/or be provided with the opportunity to listen to an individual employed in a particular field. The Career Street website will also be utilized by students, teachers, and counselors to help set up these real life experiences. The same career exploration software and websites will continue to be used and refined at the high school level, with efforts made to have students identify a career interest and recognize the level and type of education needed to satisfy that particular career interest.
Community services offered through the district include: the Intermediate Unit Early Intervention Preschool, YMCA Pre-K Counts and YMCA before and after school child care, all located within Northwestern Elementary School.
Alternative education programs are offered to students who need special services/curriculum to meet their needs and to help them be more successful.
Child Study: Students in Family and Consumer Science classes gain practical experiences working with elementary school teachers and students. This is great experience for those who may be thinking of a career in childcare or teaching.
Student Recognition: The district recognizes students in many ways. Art work is displayed in hallways, student achievement is brought to the board of education’s attention each month, students are asked to present their projects and accomplishments to the board, newsletter articles and the district’s website feature students’ work and achievement. High-achieving students are awarded academic letters.
Accelerated and Enhanced Programs: Advanced Placement courses and independent study options are available in most AP course areas for high school students. The district offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses in English, Social Studies, Science, and Mathematics. Also, students have the option to take a wide variety of AP courses as an independent study.
The district has daytime tutors for middle and high school students, which provides help in their regular coursework.
Communications with parents: The district teachers and administrators communicate with parents in a wide variety of ways. In addition to notes, newsletters, and conferences we use the district’s website, student agendas (planners), and a home-school compact/contract. The website provides parents of all students with an up-to-the-minute means of checking on their child’s progress in their courses.
Board / Teacher Relations: The board of education and the Northwestern Education Association enjoy an excellent working relationship. The parties work collaboratively on many projects to enhance education.