Northeast is a computer science magnet middle school with a very diverse population in terms of socio-economic status, parental education, and home environment. The total enrollment of Northeast Middle School is 622 students. While Northeast is located on the outskirts of Mint Hill, a predominately white, middle-aged community on the east side of Charlotte Mecklenburg County, our feeder areas cover a very broad range.
The student population of Northeast is comprised of 40% Hispanic, 39% African American, 15% Caucasian, and 6% from two or more and other nationalities. Approximately 10% of our students take at least one honors course, with most of these taking a full honors program. Also, Northeast offers an SBS program, an Inclusion program, and an extensive Exceptional Children’s program, including SAC. Northeast also offers English as a Second Language.
We have a highly qualified faculty, which includes over 38% having advanced degrees. In addition, several teachers are currently enrolled in a Masters program. Over 2/3 of our staff have 3 or more years of teaching experience and 77% are highly qualified in their appropriate subject area.
We have an active PTSA and School Leadership Team. Students have multiple options for advanced studies through honors courses, high school credit courses, PLTW classes, Talent Development Program, and National Junior Honor Society. We offer a variety of athletic teams (baseball, softball, basketball, cheerleading, football, soccer, track and field, and volleyball), and a very active Fine Arts department with our fine arts, digital arts, chorus, band, orchestra and Spanish. Students can also get involved with other opportunities by joining clubs, Yearbook, or Student Council. We offer extended student services through Right Moves for Youth, SPARCS, Family First, and Junior Achievement; as well as community partners with New Beginnings.
In December 1952, Engelhardt, Engelhardt, and Leggett presented a report, The School Building Needs of Mecklenburg County Public Schools. At that time there were actually four separate school districts within the county: one for whites in the actual city of Charlotte, one for blacks in the city, one for blacks in the county, and one for whites in the county. In this study, the authors talked about each of the schools in both the black and the white county districts. There were descriptions of two Clear Creek Schools – one for whites (where the present Clear Creek Elementary is located) and one for blacks (where the present JH Gunn Elementary School is located). In 1952, the "black" Clear Creek School housed 642 students in grades 1 through 12 with very few students in grades 10, 11, and 12.
By the 1960-61 school year, the name of that school had been changed to JH Gunn. It comprised grades 1 to 12, and the upper grades still had relatively few students. Therefore, at that time it was recommended that the school be converted to a junior high school by 1965. It would house grades 7 through 9.
While that junior high did not open by 1965, it did in 1970-71. Thus Northeast Junior High (later to be converted to Northeast Middle School) was born, at the former JH Gunn location. The school on Harrisburg Road had 4 original buildings. The oldest building housed the offices, classrooms, an auditorium, and even a science classroom and lab. In its earlier days, rooms in that building were heated with wood stoves. There was a “newer” classroom building with 12 classrooms and there was also a gymnasium. The 4th building, with a water tower behind it, was an old white wooden building at the top of a hill that originally had been 4 classrooms. Northeast converted that to its media center.
Jack Knighten was the first principal there and the enrollment in that first year was about 500 – students who for the most part had attended Albemarle Road Junior High. With the addition of students from the Belmont community near the center of Charlotte and the Hidden Valley community, the school expanded rapidly. Soon the school had outgrown these original buildings. By the 1975-76 school year, only five years after the school was begun and the last year at the old JH Gunn site, enrollment had risen to 933 although the capacity of the school was said to be only 540.
The new site for Northeast was selected- the land adjacent to Independence Hgh School was available with an address on Brickstone Drive. No longer would students be spread in four buildings; they would be housed in one new building. In the new building, all science classes were on the bottom floor, language arts and social studies were on the middle floor, and math and foreign language as well as keyboarding and art classes were on the top floor. The media center was located where it is today.
When the school opened in August 1976, the student population was already 991, and by spring 1977, the number of students surpassed 1000 for the first time. New classrooms were added in 1981 to accommodate all the students. Because of so many students, stairs were even designated as up stairs or down stairs. By 1984, there were over 1200 Northeast Eagles. During these years, the school served 7th, 8th and 9th grade students. In 1997, 6th graders were added to Northeast, changing it to a middle school. (9th grade students were moved to the high school level.) At that time the school was seperated into different floors for each grade level, a format that is still in place today.
Northeast Eagles always strove for excellence in academics, sports, and sportsmanship. In the early 1990s, North Carolina created the End-of-Grade (EOG) tests to measure whether students were on grade level. In 1993, Northeast had 65% at or above grade level in reading and 60.8% at or above grade level in math. These percentages were about average for junior highs/middle schools in CMS. But by the early 2000s, Northeast had become one of the top CMS middle schools in the percentage of students who were at or above grade level on the EOGs. In recent years we have been recognized as a school of"High Growth".
The building was recently renovated, drastically changing the appearance of Northeast. We now have a new gym and a new cafeteria. In order to keep up with changes in technology, we have added several "Smart Boards" to our classrooms.
While times have changed, Northeast has continued its goal of educating all students. We are looking forward to serving the Charlotte and Mint Hill area for many years to come.