We practice what we teach.

A practicing professional has their head in the theories and concepts, their hands on the table and in the project, their heart devoted to the practice.

At Northern Hall School we do just that.

A Special Message from Northern Hall

Northern Hall condemns the actions of the terrorists who stormed the seat of our democracy this week.

Our school motto is ‘We dare to disturb the universe.” But disruption caused by the asking of questions is not the same as barren violence. And while protest can be an important part of any society and speaking truth to power is an essential part of the life of the mind, what occurred in Washington DC was not disruption and it was not protest. It was an insurrection.

We believe that ongoing election reform is central to the progress and growth of the American experiment, that all voices should be heard, and that even if we abhor their principles or ideas, individual Americans are worthy of our respect and time. However, truth is not the same as opinion. Facts are real. And this election has been certified countless times and rumors to the contrary are baseless. Period.

Finally, Northern Hall explicitly condemns the actions of the President of the United States of America, whose poisonous and decades-long demagoguery stands in direct opposition to everything that our country can and should be, and those who either implicitly or explicitly supported it. As Franklin Roosevelt once said, ‘Repetition does not turn a lie into the truth.’

We are heartened by the speeches we heard from the Senate floor after Congress reconvened but we need to see more. Justice needs to be done so that we can truly heal. Only once we have shown the world that this behavior is utterly unacceptable and intolerable, can we follow the excellent advice of Jimmy Carter, who said ‘A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It is a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity.’

Let us not just hope but work to ensure that firmness now leads us to a gentle, thoughtful, and restrained future where we are free to dream, one where we can dare to disturb the universe together, with open hands, open minds, and open hearts.

The Founders of Northern Hall School

Welcome to Northern Hall School

Northern Hall School is a tuition-based independent high school. We offer a comprehensive, live online community that allows students to pursue rigorous academics while engaging safely in the essential social experience that lives at the core of the best sorts of education. We provide students and their families the consistent and reliable experience that they expect from brick-and-mortar academic institutions, while maintaining a healthy school/life balance that too often wilts in the midst of serious academic work.

How do we do it?

First and foremost, we champion the importance of genuine, deep, and enduring teacher-student relationships.

We have established Academic Suites consisting of a combination of Oxford-style tutorials, highly interactive group seminars, and a variety of guest speakers who are experts in their fields.

Our Suites go beyond what is traditionally offered in public and private high schools, focusing around timely and timeless subjects like this Fall Trimester’s “Pandemics of the Past and Present” and “Elections in America.”

And, if that isn’t enough, we also offer the opportunity for students to sign up for Independent Tutorials on a wide variety of subjects ranging from Photography to Cell Biology, Archaeology to Literary Theory, American Foreign Policy to Programming.

Moreover, we are committed to creating significant opportunities for exploration of both ourselves and the world around us, whether that takes the form of investigating the ecosystems of tidal rivers or simply spending time untangling the questions and passions that keep us awake at night.

To Make Our Academic Suites, We Blend

  • The hands-on, exploratory approaches of Thomas Dewey and Maria Montessori
  • The tools and sensitivity of Reggio Emilia schools
  • The rigorous personalization of the Oxford and Cambridge tutorial

Our Students Are

  • Students impacted by COVID-19
  • Passionate Learners
  • Homeschoolers
  • All-Star Athletes and Musicians who need a different schedule
  • Above all, curious, self-motivated individuals who are dedicated to expanding their horizons

Our Faculty Are

  • Deeply Committed Community Servants
  • Oxford and Cambridge-Educated Researchers
  • Former US ambassadors
  • Exceptionally gifted individuals whose nontraditional paths have helped to forge them into ideal mentors
  • Above all, Caring and Experienced Educators

Our Faculty

We welcome you to find out more about us or to be in touch with our world-class team of educators.

Michael D. McCartney

Michael D. McCartney

Head of School

Laura Mackey

Laura Mackey

Assistant Head of School

Heather O’Gorman

Heather O’Gorman


Lindsay Hirt

Lindsay Hirt

Dean of Advancement and Sciences

Featured Independent Courses

In order to get rolling for the fall, Northern Hall School is offering the following featured independent courses for the discounted price of $1100. All other independent courses are still available for the regular price of $1499.

Discovering the New England Coastline

The sea has always called to humans. But what is it about the coast that draws such human interest over the ages? Get ready to explore the biology of the wildlife, the ecology of the systems that support them, and the geology of the land that makes up this unique space. Spend some time with your toes in the sand and your eyes and ears in tune with what makes the New England coastline come alive.

Sharks in Pop Culture

Sharks have always held fascination and fear among the public. These feelings have been long rooted in our brains because we tend to respond more with feelings than we do with scientific thinking. But we can pick apart the movie Jaws to find out what’s accurate and what isn’t. We can discuss anatomy and physiology using Megalodon’s form and function, analyze how useful those shark apps are for crowdsourcing data, and even engage in a healthy debate about sharks vs. seals in our salty backyard. Here’s your chance to examine the biological truths that will help us get over those fears and start appreciating one of the most talked-about animals in popular culture.

Save Your Planet!

This course is a meeting house for all the things you need to know about taking care of the big blue dot we all call home – Earth! You’ll examine your personal carbon footprint, explore national parks, understand why pollution is such a big deal, debate about climate change, learn why extinction really is forever…and ultimately answer a call to action by taking on a project that taps into a conservation topic you are passionate about.

Pandemics of the Past, Present, and Future

We have all had enough of negative news relating to Covid-19. But it’s more timely than ever to be exploring pandemics through one’s own perspective. In this course, students will be traveling through the human experience with an artistic eye, examining several historic case studies.

Much ado about Problem-Solving

(A Precursor to Coding and Higher Maths)
Want to build skills to approach any problem Academia tries to throw at you? Let’s attack them in the broadest sense imaginable! If you’re interested in science, math, or engineering, this is a great course to start your educational journey with Northern Hall School.

Art Journaling for Your Sanity

Life is hard and confusing. Let’s deal with it through self-expression and personal journaling. Students will work on finding their own voice in their work.

6 Feet and Counting

COVID-19 has had an impact on everyone’s day-to-day life: masks as a fashion statement, staying socially distant at the beach, not being able to try on clothes at the store, closing down restaurants and arcades… the list goes on and on. We often focus on the social ramifications of COVID-19, but have you thought about it from a biological standpoint? In this course, we will dive deep into your immune system, analyzing how vaccines and antibiotics affect your body. Case studies of past and present pandemics will be compared, and we will discuss the science behind zoonotic diseases and biological warfare.

Feathers and Flight

Diverse and beautiful, birds are all around us. Building a foundation in ornithology starts with an introduction to both familiar and unusual species. In this course, you’ll discuss the evolution of feathers and flight, be delighted by various quirky social behaviors, analyze bird communication both visual and vocal and apply physiology concepts to bird bodies.

The Story in the Bones

Bones have many uses – to tell fortunes and make musical instruments, as glue and fertilizer, expensive bone china, and the obvious, to give form and function to man. From the perspective of a physical anthropologist, we will deduce how early man lived and died through the examination of the fossil record, comparative anatomy specimens, and ourselves.

Pandemics, Prose, and the Past

COVID-19 is not the first pandemic to rock our world. From the Plague to the Leprosy, from Cholera to Consumption, humans have always lived with, suffered from, and changed as a result of our interaction with disease. In this English and History course, we will look at the diseases, the heroes who fought them, and people’s experiences before, during, and after each through their writing, music, and art.

The Quest in Literature

For as long as human beings have existed, we have yearned to find out what is out there, just beyond the horizon. Here we examine that drive to experience the epic journey to discovery through stories we have told about it. From the ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh to folklore and fairy tales from around to the world, these tales help us to better understand what it means to be human.

The Medieval World

What was it like to live in England during the 13th and 14th Centuries? Find out from an expert Medievalist. Together you will delve into everyday life and marvel over exalted fields of professions like healing, forging, and storytelling. We know you’ll detect an air of danger in the more esoteric occupations like alchemy and witchcraft, a feeling which still piques interest in modern times.