In the late 1800’s, a developer named Donald C. Fletcher began building two-story homes along Hathaway Street (now Galena Street). This development ran from 16th Avenue to 25th Avenue; The town was named Fletcher in honor of the developer. However, the town was not without challenges. One of the greatest challenges was providing water to the community. As Fletcher was growing, a dispute over water caused conflict in the community and Fletcher left town. The citizens wanted to be rid of his memory, so the town name was changed to Aurora, taking the name of the mythological goddess of the dawn.
Aurora Public Schools was established in 1885 and was created in its current configuration in 1962. The district covers nearly 121 square miles, 60% of which is residential, industrial, and commercial property. The population of the City of Aurora is approximately 330,000 with 220,000 residents living inside the APS boundaries. The major institutions within the boundaries include Buckley Air Force Base and Anschutz Medical Campus.
APS spans 880 acres and has developed over 4.5 million square feet of building space. Student enrollment is approaching 40,000. The district operates four early childhood preschool centers, 28 elementary schools, seven P8/K8 schools, six middle schools, six high schools, one 6-12 school, one technical college, one online school, and six charter schools.
APS offers special education, vocational education, pre-school, gifted and talented, English Language Acquisition, and International Baccalaureate programming, in addition to general education programs.
North Middle School was opened in 1957, and is capable of enrolling 901 students. The building is 107,466 square feet, and we have one mobile unit. Our lot is 15.4 acres. Improvements to bring the building up to current educational specifications were made in 1998, and a new HVAC, windows, and lighting were installed in 2006. While most of the Aurora elementary schools at the time were named after important people in the community or the subdivisions they were in, the middle schools were named based on their location within the town. Consequently, our middle School was given the name North Junior High due to its location in the northern part of Aurora.
Students from Fletcher, Paris, Montview, Crawford, Park Lane, Sable, and Altura feed into our school. Students from North feed into Central and Hinkley High School. We are part of P-20 Learning Community A, which consists of North, South, Fletcher, Fulton, Kenton, Lyn Knoll, Montview, Peoria, Park Lane, Jamaica CDC, and Early Beginnings.
North has 808 students enrolled in grades 6-8, and employs 84 staff members. Our student population identifies as the following: 2% American Indian/Alaska Native, 3% Asian, 13% Black, 76% Hispanic, 5% White, 1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and 2% two or more races.
Additionally, 41% of our students are English Language Learners, 4% are identified as Gifted/Talented, 12% are eligible for Special Education, and 79.5% are eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch.