Juneau Douglas High School has improved greatly over the years I've gone here. When I first stepped into this school it seemed chaotic and in desperate need of help. But as years have gone on, the new principal Bernie Sorenson, has brought in discipline as well as admiration to our school, which has helped us students greatly. Bernie gives us the freedom to do what we need to do, but she doesn't let us cross the lines without consequences. This school has great school spirit and if you ask anyone attending they'll say each year it tends to get better and better and sure it still needs help, but with Bernie involving the students and listening to us in a way that parents think is completly wrong, we're working to a comprimise between administrators and students for a better high school.
I'm not looking forward to sending my child to this school again. Juneau is in desperate need of another High School, this one is over crowded. They also could use some better Teachers here. Most Teachers don't care about the students that they teach. Some care some of the time. The good ones are only a few. The open campus is also a problem. Students run free around downtown Juneau with no supervision. It's difficult for a parent to work with the Teachers or Administration because there is little concern for the kids who attend the school.
I just finished my freshman year at JDHS and I am tired of this environment. The amount of students drinking and doing drugs is apalling. Most of the teachers I had were good, but the entire school seemed to be disorganized. The dress code could be nonexistant for all the good it did. Graffiti was commonplace and much of it insulted school officials. I am very disappointed and hope that something is done soon about the substance abuse problems soon.
I have had 3 children attend this school. It has gotten harder each year to feel assured that my child is safe and being exposed to good influences. I think that 'open campus' is bad and in place because there are too many children at JDHS. Class sized are dangerously large. I won't be allowing my child a second year here.
My freshman has worse grades in key classes than she ever did. Its mostly her need to adjust her attitude, but the school is not giving enough timely feedback either. They have a parent connect system to get great feedback, but it was down for weeks. You get a zero in PE if you don't dress out, no partial credit. Physical Science is required for all freshmen even though they will be taking college prep physical science later. On the plus side, they offer Russian and Japanese as foreign language classes. The music program is good. Some teachers are great, and some not.
This overcrowded school has very little to offer students. I'm not surprised about the high drop rate. Because of the high student to teacher ratio dont expect any personalized services from teachers (either too new to care or burned out). You'll find out that your son or daughter has not turned in homework and failed the course at the end of the semester. The administration tries to schedule kids off campus for up to three class periods as their answer to the overcrowded situation. A new school is the answer, but this community can't seem to get it together when it comes to the issue. After ten years of debating, voting, and planning, the new school may never be built. Its time to move south!
I have currently just started my 3rd child with this school. Class sizes remain too large, teaching staff too new and space cut even more by city approved remodeling job. Overall, I am still very unhappy with this school. It is the #1 reason I am considering moving.