Northwood is part of the Downcounty Consortium (DCC). Students who reside within the DCC boundaries participate in the Choice process. Students and parents rank their preferred high schools for school assignment and are assigned to one of 5 high schools via lottery: Montgomery Blair, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Northwood or Wheaton. The DCC website describes programs at the five schools and the Choice process.
Northwood offers 4 academies: Academy of Technological, Environmental, and Systems Sciences; Academy of Humanities, Arts, and Media; Academy of Politics, Advocacy, and Law; and the Academy of Musical Theatre. The academies focus on community and diversity and prepare students for a variety of postsecondary options, including the Early College Scholars Program, a partnership with the University of Maryland and Montgomery College. Students explore their interests while building their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.