Student Experience

Bring Your Whole Self and We'll Embrace Every Part

Bring Your Whole Self and We'll Embrace Every Part

A Community to Grow In

At Northwest we believe community is about showing our mutual concern for each other. Some of the ways we’ll help you and your peers experience community and form strong bonds is through advisory, grade-level meetings, interest groups, and affinity groups. All of these programs are designed to support your academic, social, and emotional growth.

When I graduated from Northwest I wasn’t embarrassed to talk about things or to have ideas. That was especially important to me as a woman. I left there feeling I could do anything.
– Alex Pemoulie ’03 Co-owner and operator of Mean Sandwich and Director of Finance at Sea Creatures restaurant group, both in Seattle. Former Director of Finance, Momofuku,

We Foster a Culture of Belonging

Student Interest Groups

Finding and Following Your Interests

Any student with a strong interest can start an interest group, and most groups are open to both middle and upper school students. These groups give you and your peers opportunities to pursue activities, hobbies, and passions that give meaning to your lives. Each group establishes its own way of operating and meets up to three times per month.

A Sampling of Interest Groups

The Environmental Interest Group (EIG) has a long history of engagement on and off campus. The group’s mission is to expand the environmental consciousness of every individual within The Northwest School in order to promote global and local change through concrete projects and advocacy.

Model UN is a long-standing group for students interested in international relations. Members have organized extra-curricular trips to sessions with foreign diplomats and participated in Model UN events throughout the region. The group also helps coordinate the NWS Global Affairs Speaker Series, a variety of discussions with global relation experts.

Current Interest Groups

  • Badminton & Pickleball Interest Groups
  • Baking Interest Group
  • PlayClayPlayClay
  • Chess Club
  • D&D Interest Group
  • Drawing Interest Group
  • Environmental Interest Group
  • Graphic Novel Interest Group
  • Honey Bee (Creative Writing) – upper school
  • Maroon Cross (Wellness)
  • Model UN – upper school
  • Morning Meeting – middle school
  • Photo Interest Group
  • Social Committee – upper school
  • Teen Link
  • The Squirtle Squad
  • Ultimate Interest Group – middle school
  • Women in Sports
Student Affinity Groups

Being Seen, Heard and Valued

Our school is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. One of the ways we affirm these values is through affinity groups, which are initiated and led by students like you. 

The primary goals of these groups are to offer you and your peers a safe space to discuss experiences of identity, create group solidarity, build resilience, increase confidence and engagement and provide empowerment toward action and leadership. Each group is sponsored by a faculty member who shares the same identity.

Asian/Pacific Islander Student Affinity Group

Mission statement to come.

Black Student Union

The Black Student Union at the Northwest School aims to encourage positive and productive African American Communities on and off campus. We promote leadership, student empowerment, community and education. We embrace unity, diversity and cultural heritage. BSU at the Northwest focuses on building awareness about being an African American in today's society.

Female & Female Identifying Student Union

FSU is a student led affinity group for female and female presenting students that discusses, fundraises and educates on feminist topics. We provide a safe space for conversations about our shared identity as female and female presenting people and share information on how to work through challenges we encounter because of this identity. We advocate for equal rights, hold feminist ideas close, create safe spaces for our community, and continue to educate ourselves/others on topics pertaining to feminism.

Financial Aid Affinity Group – anonymous members

Mission Statement to Come.

Latin American Student Union

The mission of the Latin American Union is to create a space of community at the Northwest School which empowers Latin American students to embrace their identity and culture. Through discussions and community building activities we aim to educate and unify our members, while providing them with support and resources to help them thrive in the Northwest school community and beyond.

International Student Union

Mission Statement to Come.

Jewish Student Union

Mission Statement to Come.

Middle School Rainbow Connection

Mission Statement to Come.

Mixed-Race Student Affinity Group

Mission Statement to Come.

MS Allies and Activists – Middle School

It is not enough to not be racist. The Middle School Allies and Activists group is a space where white students will explore our internalized biases, examine how that shows up in our thoughts, emotions, bodies, and behaviors, and how we can dismantle racism and other 'isms in ourselves and our communities. We are committed to educating ourselves, acting as allies for our marginalized peers and using our privilege to actively work toward social justice in our school, city and beyond.

Q Club (LGBTQ+)

Mission Statement to Come.

White Anti-Racist Student Group – Upper School

Mission Statement to Come.

Grade Level Events

Form a Unique Class Identity

You and your classmates will meet together regularly as a group and go on overnight trips too. 

Grade-level events are a way to build community within your class and focus on:

  • Sharing values as a community
  • Being better together
  • Creating meaningful connections
  • Showing up as your true self

By the time you and your peers graduate, you'll have a strong sense of connection and identity as a class. We see this expressed over and over again during Spirit Week in unique and wonderful ways.

Advisory Groups

Become Your Best Self

You can look forward to building meaningful connections with faculty and peers during your time at Northwest. 

Our advisory program is balanced between supporting you as an individual and building authentic communities—all of which will help you become your best self! Think of advisory as a partnership between students, faculty and families.

During middle school you’ll be matched with a new advisor each year, who will:

  • Check in with you often during sixth grade, on everything from your studies to making friends.
  • Support you in practicing self-advocacy as you learn more about what you need to succeed.
  • Help you explore your interests and manage our challenging academic program.

In upper school you’ll work with an advisor, who will support you in:

  • Owning your education as you become more self-aware of your passions, strengths and areas of growth.
  • Engaging deeply in curriculum across disciplines, developing skills to prepare you for college and beyond.
  • Learning what it means to be a good leader, educating our community on issues of social justice and the environment.

Small groups meet weekly with their advisors for 45 minutes, and the program is built around an intentional curriculum that will help you and your peers:

  • Build study skills and learning strategies to support your academic progression and success.
  • Form your own identities, build interpersonal skills and understand your place in the world.
  • Learn and experience how to be responsible digital citizens and to engage in active citizenship.
Community Meetings

Staying in the Know, Together

Our school community gathers together every two weeks for a student-run meeting. It’s how we all stay up-to-date on what’s happening at Northwest. 

Affinity and interest groups share their news. Dates for upcoming events, including games and fan nights, are announced. And we sometimes puzzle over a riddle offered by one of the students who’s particularly adept at coming up with riddles. It’s a great time to get your rah-rah on!