Beyond the Numbers

Northridge Middle students

Three-Year Progression

Northridge Middle Three-Year Progression
  • Northridge Middle School, the third largest school in the Tuscaloosa City School System, opened its doors for its 833 students in the 2018-2019 school year. Due to the zoning change, as part of the TCS Strategic Plan, 250 plus students had their attendance zone changed resulting in a merging of seven different communities. The Northridge student body is a diverse population spanning ethnicity, socio-economic levels, nationalities, and beliefs, including around 20 different home languages.

    The faculty and staff at Northridge Middle School place doing what is best for students at the heart of every decision. They work together to build relationships with both the students and their parents based on trust and respect while developing a culture of unity and inclusiveness for all. Teachers work collaboratively, formally and informally, to analyze the needs of each child and design learning opportunities that support and challenge their learners. This personalized instruction is manifested by seeing each student actively engaged in meaningful learning and showing academic and social-emotional growth. Northridge Middle School is a place where it is common to hear students and teachers expressing their care and compassion for one another.

  • Strengths

    • Technology plays a large role in the lives of teachers and students at Northridge Middle School.  Each classroom is outfitted with the latest educational technology including interactive projectors, document cameras, and sound systems.  Teachers and students have access to Chromebooks, a 3D Printer, Virtual Reality Goggles, and a variety of codable robots. NMS also has an in-house Technology Coach to help teachers and students with various technology related things. Instruction involving technology is guided by the ISTE Standards as well as the Alabama Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards.  Teachers embed technology into their daily practice for direct instruction, differentiation, assessment, and reteaching. Students use the available technology to create real-world products such as podcasts, short films, and websites; connect with classrooms around the country and world to learn about differing perspectives and experiences; and collaborate digitally to challenge their peers to grow as communicators, scientists, mathematicians, and historians.  For more information please visit
    • Northridge Middle School faculty and staff know that students learn best when they feel they belong. As a result, we have created multiple layers of belonging including a house system, sports, and clubs which meet both during established school time and outside of the school day.  One-hundred percent of our students participate in an extended learning opportunity that allows them to explore an interest, develop relationships with adult advocates, and strengthen their sense of connection within a community of their peers. These experiences address our students’ social and emotional needs while also building school identity and traditions.
    • Northridge Middle School faculty and staff know that students are more than names on paper or numbers in a spreadsheet. We are relentless in collecting information from numerous sources in order to uncover the story of the whole child. We use assessment information and other data points to tailor instruction for each student, and we are agile in adapting instruction to the ever-changing needs of the adolescents in our care. Moreover, we collaborate via grade-level teams and departments to ensure that no child is invisible and to hone our instructional practices in support of each learner.

  • Opportunities

    • As Northridge Middle School faculty and staff continue to establish the culture and climate of an amazing new school, we are also focused on developing a culture of literacy. Through reflection and evaluating our practices, areas of growth were identified. These areas include accommodating learners across the learning spectrum, writing instruction, cross-curricular collaboration, and determining specific goals to drive instruction. To address these areas, all faculty and staff are participating in numerous professional learning communities within the district and with other literacy leaders in and out of state. Implementation of the gained knowledge from the professional learning communities demands a greater culture of literacy.

    • Last year, Northridge Middle School opened its doors, uniting students from seven different schools. Like any blended family knows is true, the transition was not easy. Taking what we learned last year and using those lessons to improve this year, we knew that the key was focusing on what we have in common while celebrating the unique backgrounds and cultures each student brings with them to our school. This year we have rolled out clubs, which the students attend every other Friday. These clubs offer a unique way for students to feel involved, make new friends across grade levels, and share and celebrate their own knowledge in a specific area as well as learn more about these very things in which they are interested.

      Jaguar Pride is another way we strive to make sure that our community stakeholders feel not only included but integral to the success of each and every student. As the year goes on, we will continue to seek out ways for our community to have opportunities to feel wanted and included as well as opportunities to pour into our students.

    • Our goal this year, and in the future, is to have Northridge Middle School students grow one full academic year at every grade level. This growth will be measured in the areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music, Art, Technology, and much more. We know this will happen if we continue to focus on unity, inclusiveness, and respect for differences.

2019 Report Card Grade

  • A