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GreatSchools Rating

Virgil Grissom High School

Public | 8-12 | 1970 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

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31 reviews of this school


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Posted March 3, 2014

If you are looking for a great learning institution in Huntsville, this is the place to go. Above all are the academic standards, which push students to do the best they can and will put you through rigorous work to get your diploma. Many teachers and alumni will tell you that college is much easier once you've been through Grissom and I am inclined to agree. The choice in classes and extracurricular activities is one of the best in the state. The Army JROTC is one of the most acclaimed battalions in Northern AL, and the Theatre department has become famous in town for its large production value and immense talent its students put out. The school offers advanced classes for college credit, more in fact than any other in the city, and the teachers are some of the best you will find. While it is crowded and the building is very old, they are about to lay new ground on a replacement facility across town that should address both of these problems adequately. If you have a student entering or in middle school and need to decide a place for them to go, there really is no better High School in the Huntsville area.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 23, 2013

Grissom students and teachers have earned the honor of being the only school in the city of Huntsville ranked in the top 10 schools in Alabama! Go Tigers! Thanks teachers!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 7, 2013

I'm a graduate of Grissom High School many years ago. Fortunately, I attended this school and it prepared me to think outside the box and for the rat race that is college. I believe that the many options in the curriculum of Grissom prepared me for a successful future. I'm now approaching 50 & have fond memories of participating in several AP classes, having unique PhD'd teachers who were willing to discuss theory and challenge me, and of all the band opportunities I was fortunate to be involved with. It is a college-preparation dream for students. I was able to clep several college courses which was a time and financial advantage. Most importantly, I've been a self-supporting female in a professional workforce for 28 years. That's from a good foundation. Go Tigers!


Posted August 4, 2011

My daughter was in top private schools before we relocated to Huntsville but I received recommendations from the private school principal to consider the SE Huntsville public schools. We bought a home in the Whitesburg/Grissom district and were extremely satisfied for the most part. She was a solid honor roll student, involved in extracurricular activities and JV sports, and was very well prepared to succeed at a big out-of-state university for undergrad and then at prestigious schools for her master's and PhD. Her comment as a college freshman was that it was very little different from Grissom.. SO many kids come from small schools to a big uni and just cannot handle the feeling of being "lost in a crowd" or the myriad distractions. As others have said, even the "second tier" Grissom student is well equipped academically and maybe even more importantly, socially and emotionally, for college!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 26, 2011

I am a graduate of Grissom and have moved back and purchased a home in the District so that my son will attend Grissom when he goes to high school. I had a B average when I was at Grissom but when I went to college I was light years ahead of my peers. College was quite easy after attending Grissom. We had many faculty members who had their doctorates and taught college during the year and summer break. Grissom will give your kids a solid foundation for achievement if they want it. There is so many organizations to get involved with while they are enrolled. There is absolutely no reason that your child should not fit in other than they dont want to go to school. Grissom will give them what they need to succeed in college.


Posted December 4, 2010

This is my second year at GHS, and my grades aren't very good. I have doubts that I'll go to the schools of my choice. This is mostly my fault but also the fault of the teachers. 99% of the teachers seem uninterested in the students. Absolutely none of them will confront a student about their performance in class. This is due to GHS's policy of preparing students for college, but they overlook the fact that they have to get there first. Teachers have admitted that they don't care, and say "I still get paid whether you pass or not." GHS's academic rank falls each year. Teachers announce their policies only once, and if you don't obey then they will not compromise for any reason. They never understand why their students fail. Each year the administration corrupts more. Superintendent Moore gives GHS the LEAST amount of money out of any other school even when it is the highest performing. But the school is good for those who try hard. The principal is a good one. Extracurriculars are very good. But those teachers. I mean, look at how flawless and beautiful my vernacular is. Tell me how I have a 64 in Honors English. GHS's main problem is the teachers, everything else is pretty good.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 9, 2010

I am a current freshmen at this school as of 2010 If you are moving to this town and are zoned for grissom district be prepared, BRING EVERYTHING teachers will not tolerate not having your supplies, (i learned it the hard way) our school is a very hard school and the majority of the teachers are strict and do lots of test so you will most likely be doing homework for 2 to 5 hours a day, our sports are very good so if your a football player than go ahead s and join (it is hard practice) we did not do well this season but every school has there up's and DOWNS......our school would be better if it was better designed and maintained better but the education matters and grissom education is diffidently college hard level (BE PREPARED)
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 19, 2009

I have a senior and a freshman this year at Grissom. Grissom is a challenging school. The teachers your child gets greatly influences how well they do. My senior had a non-preforming teacher here and there. My freshman not so lucky this year. He had three such teachers - that means nothing is gotten out of class time so you are teaching yourself! Yes - he did ask questions when he needed help. That said there are some excellent teachers that go beyond for their students. If you are an incoming freshman take heed to what the 8th grade teachers say about classes and teachers at Grissom. Your child does NOT have to be in honors classes as a freshman to take honors the following year. You need a good grade and teacher's signature for any honors/AP.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 18, 2009

I had two children attend Grissom and I was a substitute teacher there. It is a large school but there are many opportunities for every type of student to become involved. The education provided is excellent.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 12, 2009

The school population is staggering, the staff is rude, short, and have a horrible problem with misunderstanding, they ignore everyone, and they assume you know everything about them, what their expectations are, and where to go and what to do. The building it s self has a bombarding and oppressive feel to it, I believe, that was purposely designed to create a hostel working and learning environment, but other than that, this is by far the best school in this state, believe me, it doesn t get any better. It s quite sad. The rest of the school is simply outstanding!
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 13, 2009

Great School. Would not be where I am right now without it
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 1, 2008

I'm proud that my oldest son is attending Grissom for his second year. He has always been an excellent student, and I believe that the atmosphere at Grissom is allowing him to achieve at a very high level ... in a school where there are lots of high achievers. He takes Band and has very much enjoyed the comraderie there. He is involved in outside interests that we handle as a family (sports, etc.). We purchased a home in Southeast Huntsville to give our children the opportunity to attend superior schools and we have not been sorry. Grissom is the icing on the cake. I am thrilled that our youngest son will be attending next year as well.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 29, 2008

Hello! I am a proud Grissom grad currently at the University of Alabama at Birmingham working toward a dual degree of a BS in Biology, pre-med and a BA in Theatre. Grissom was a challenging environment, yet geared for success with dedicated teachers that cared about students getting the best education they could. Students don't quite realize how great their school is until they get to college and realize they are more prepared than every student they meet to deal with further education. I loved Grissom so much that when I start a family (and hopefully emjoying life as a successful surgeon), I want to move back to Huntsville so my children can attend Grissom! If you want your child to be motivated, educated, and above all have a love of school and involvement send them to Tiger Country! Krystal Hsu, class of 2005.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 20, 2008

i currently attend grissom. i like the school, the main downfall is the overcrowded hallways, people sometimes have to push and shove to get around. some classes are even in portables outside. but there are tons of classes that you can choose from and the school spirt is great(if you go to any games..football,basketball, anything...then you will see a sea of orange and brown in the stands cheering).there is a dance,rotc,and band and choir programs. they even have classes such as photography and parenting. the councelers are nice also. there are also lots of clubs you can join. they deffently try to get you ready for college which is good. and of course there are a few bad teachers like any other school but there are a lot of good ones too. over all i would recomend this school the most out of any huntsville school.
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 3, 2008

I have a senior [at] Grissom. He has ADHD. He has been more sucessful at Grissom than Mt. Gap, and especially Challenger. I dont believe that Grissom leaves behind less than exceptional students.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 27, 2007

I am a parent of 2 GHS students and also a graduate. Students are completely prepared for college after attending Grissom High School.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 1, 2007

I am a Grissom grad, now working on my masters degree at The University of Alabama. I was never the outstanding student there (graduated with 3.3 GPA). I strongly believe the school does not just focus on the top students. Because of the tough classes at Grissom, I was able to maintain a 3.9 GPA in my undergraduate degree. If you don't like to be challenged this school is probably not for you, but they will set you up for success. There are a handful of schools that stick out in the state of Alabama, and Grissom is definitely one of them. Although Grissom is large and overcrowded, students get opportunities you wouldn't get at other schools: large arts programs (outstanding band), dance program, and numerous large academic and social clubs. I find it unusual if a student cannot find fit a place to fit in. Parental support is outstanding.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted May 29, 2007

I have become very frustrated with Grissom. If you have a child that excels in studies and a solid study foundation they will progress.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 25, 2007

I am not a parent but a graduate of Grissom. I have to disagree with the parents who say that if your student is mediocre then Grissom is not for them. I was not a A student and did not take AP courses but I am still proud of the education that I had available to me. The counselors and teachers that I had were more than willing to help me get the best education I could get. I highly recommend the school to anyone who is looking for a school that will give their child the best education that they can get in the City Of Huntsville.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted May 10, 2007

I believe this school to be among the very finest in America. The teachers here are amazing. The only catch is that your student must be willing to work. Grissom has an ultra competetive environment where the top studnets in Huntsville compete at the highest levels.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 77% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
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Reading

The state average for Reading was 80% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Scale: % level 3 or 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Alabama used the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math. The ARMT is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Alabama. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Alabama Department of Education

Math

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Blackn/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
Whiten/a
Free lunch eligiblen/a
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Special educationn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Not migrantn/a
Povertyn/a
Not povertyn/a

Reading

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Blackn/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
Whiten/a
Free lunch eligiblen/a
Reduced lunch eligiblen/a
Special educationn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Not migrantn/a
Povertyn/a
Not povertyn/a
Scale: % level 3 or 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Alabama used the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math. The ARMT is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Alabama. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Alabama Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Alabama Department of Education

Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 95% in 2013.

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
99%

2011

 
 
99%

2010

 
 
98%
Language

The state average for Language was 76% in 2013.

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
91%
Math

The state average for Math was 86% in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
94%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 83% in 2013.

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
93%
Social Studies

The state average for Social Studies was 72% in 2013.

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
93%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Alabama used the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE) to test high school students in reading, math, language, biology and social studies. High school students must pass the AHSGE in order to graduate. The AHSGE is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Alabama. The goal is for all students to pass the test.

Source: Alabama Department of Education

Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 98% in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
100%
Language

The state average for Language was 91% in 2013.

2013

 
 
0%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
97%

2010

 
 
98%
Math

The state average for Math was 95% in 2013.

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
97%

2010

 
 
99%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 94% in 2013.

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
98%

2010

 
 
99%
Social Studies

The state average for Social Studies was 88% in 2013.

2013

 
 
0%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
99%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Alabama used the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE) to test high school students in reading, math, language, biology and social studies. High school students must pass the AHSGE in order to graduate. The AHSGE is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Alabama. The goal is for all students to pass the test.

Source: Alabama Department of Education

Biology I

All Students99%
Female100%
Male99%
Black100%
Asian/Pacific Islander94%
Hispanic93%
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
White100%
Free lunch eligible98%
Reduced lunch eligible100%
Special education97%
General population99%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English99%
Not migrant99%
Poverty98%
Not poverty99%

Language

All Students90%
Female90%
Male90%
Black89%
Asian/Pacific Islander89%
Hispanic87%
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
White91%
Free lunch eligible82%
Reduced lunch eligible87%
Special education52%
General population93%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English90%
Not migrant90%
Poverty83%
Not poverty92%

Math

All Students94%
Female93%
Male94%
Black89%
Asian/Pacific Islander100%
Hispanic93%
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
White95%
Free lunch eligible84%
Reduced lunch eligible80%
Special education58%
General population97%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English94%
Not migrant94%
Poverty83%
Not poverty96%

Reading

All Students93%
Female93%
Male94%
Black89%
Asian/Pacific Islander89%
Hispanic87%
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
White95%
Free lunch eligible86%
Reduced lunch eligible73%
Special education58%
General population96%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English93%
Not migrant93%
Poverty83%
Not poverty95%

Social Studies

All Students90%
Female87%
Male93%
Black80%
Asian/Pacific Islander89%
Hispanic80%
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
White92%
Free lunch eligible80%
Reduced lunch eligible60%
Special education48%
General population93%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English90%
Not migrant90%
Poverty75%
Not poverty93%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Alabama used the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE) to test high school students in reading, math, language, biology and social studies. High school students must pass the AHSGE in order to graduate. The AHSGE is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Alabama. The goal is for all students to pass the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Alabama Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Alabama Department of Education

Biology I

All Students100%
Female100%
Male100%
Black100%
Asian/Pacific Islander100%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
White100%
Free lunch eligible100%
Reduced lunch eligible100%
Special education100%
General population100%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Not migrant100%
Poverty100%
Not poverty100%

Language

All Students0%
Female0%
Male0%
Black0%
Asian/Pacific Islander0%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
White0%
Free lunch eligible93%
Reduced lunch eligible0%
Special education65%
General population0%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Not migrant0%
Poverty95%
Not poverty0%

Math

All Students98%
Female97%
Male99%
Black93%
Asian/Pacific Islander100%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
White99%
Free lunch eligible88%
Reduced lunch eligible100%
Special education74%
General population100%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Not migrant98%
Poverty91%
Not poverty99%

Reading

All Students98%
Female98%
Male99%
Black93%
Asian/Pacific Islander100%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
White99%
Free lunch eligible93%
Reduced lunch eligible93%
Special education74%
General population100%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Not migrant98%
Poverty93%
Not poverty99%

Social Studies

All Students0%
Female0%
Male0%
Black93%
Asian/Pacific Islander0%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
American Indian/Alaskan Nativen/a
White0%
Free lunch eligible91%
Reduced lunch eligible0%
Special education74%
General population0%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Not migrant0%
Poverty93%
Not poverty0%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Alabama used the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE) to test high school students in reading, math, language, biology and social studies. High school students must pass the AHSGE in order to graduate. The AHSGE is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Alabama. The goal is for all students to pass the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Alabama Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Alabama Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 81% 58%
Black 10% 34%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 5% 1%
Hispanic 3% 5%
Two or more races 1% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 15%N/A56%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Assistant principal(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school community.

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
Music
  • Band
Performing and written arts
  • Drama

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Swimming pool
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

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by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School Leader's name
  • Mr B Thomas Drake
Fax number
  • (256) 428-8001

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Cafeteria
  • Gym
  • Library
  • Swimming pool
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Diving
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Diving
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Music
  • Band
Performing arts
  • Drama
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

7901 Bailey Cove Rd
Huntsville, AL 35802
Website: Click here
Phone: (256) 428-8000

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