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GreatSchools Rating

Decatur High School

Charter | 9-12

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 4 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

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Parent involvement

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19 reviews of this school


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Posted February 6, 2014

DHS does a great job with typical and gifted students. Students with learning difficulties or documented disabilities do not get the attention they need or an inclusive educations.(if they need significant assistance). The focus in this school system seems to be test scores and being one of the top schools districts in the state and nation. Students with learning challenges are not valued as other high scoring students are. Students with significant disabilities are located in a separate area in the school. These students are not in typical classes unless it is lunch or possibly a related arts class. This model is archaic and the special education administration is out of date. Years ago DHS sent these students to a DeKalb county school and prevented them from attending their neighborhood schools. Parents protested and this has changed. When DHS took tuition students ,(which they no longer do), they would deny students with 504 plans and IEP's. Why? I can only conclude it was about students that could provide high scores. This is not an inclusive school. The schools focus is on test scores and not teaching students to be inclusive accepting community members.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 12, 2013

Decatur City Schools have been a huge blessing for my two children, both of whom have attended since kindergarten, and are now 16 and 21. My older child got a scholarship to one of the top 3 art schools in the country after her extraordinary experience with her art teacher. She brought the most dedicated students to Florence, Italy one year, to study the Renaissance. My son is a Sophomore, and has finally earned a spot in AP classes--so he's getting a college-level education. The staff and administrators, as well as the teachers and counselor, the students and the parents, are part of my family. I moved into the district in 1997 because I was a starving newspaper reporter with two young children, and my fellow reporters told me it was the best public school system in the state. They were right. This is what schools and communities are supposed to be about--helping you raise your children. I was very blessed to discover Decatur--before it was the coolest foodie hipster music spot in the South! :)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 10, 2013

Decatur High School has been an excellent school for my three children, one still attending and two excelling at top universities. We have found the leadership to be proactively seeking excellence, personally affirming of our children and making improvements when problems arise. We have found the English, Social Studies, and Communications teachers to be outstanding. My kids visit these teachers when they are home from college. I also appreciate the culture of general acceptance of all students regardless of ethnicity, social-economic class and gender. This is not a perfect school but a very good school with good staff actively moving in the right direction. Congratulations to leadership and staff. Keep up the good work.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 25, 2013

Being a new student at the school, I can say my first year was wonderful. I recently moved to Decatur in the beginning of October and went to Decatur High School for the duration of the school year, the staff did a very good job of making me feel welcome and helping me if i was confused by anything. The IB curriculum is very interesting and I prefer it to the traditional teaching I was used to. I was put into a few classes that didn't seem to challenge me to the extent I had been in advanced classes at my previous school. The teachers are all very friendly and understanding, they were very eager to motivate their students and each had a unique way of teaching efficiently. So far I haven't had any trouble with anyone/anything. My only concern is going into this upcoming school year, my schedule was sent to me and I am very displeased with it, I am taking AP chemistry and was limited on elective classes and even so I wasn't put into any of the classes I signed up for and instead they have been replaced with PE classes that I am not fond of whatsoever. I will try to resolve my issues with my schedule, but even so this school has impressed me and I wouldn't want to go anywhere else -JP
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 27, 2013

As a nationally ranked school, DHS is by far one of the best Charter schools in all of GA. With challenging academic program, an extremely active community and dedicated students, this school provides all of the essential tools for every student to exceed no matter what social status, ethnicity, or sex.


Posted October 19, 2012

This school is hghly ranked nationally and is situated in a very high performing school district. The superintendent, Dr. Edwards, has worked very hard to transform a struggling system of school with shrinking enrollment into a school system that is attracting more and more students every year. The school board works together well and has a strong focuse on the success of all students. If one pays close attention to all the changes that have made CSD and DHS strong you will find strong leadership at all levels.


Posted September 27, 2012

Decatur High School is great! I graduated from the best private school in Atlanta, and the southeast, and it was very hard to think of my daughters having anything less than the best for their own education. However, I am finding that I could not be any more pleased if I was paying $20,000 a year per child. The IB curriculum is challenging and a refreshingly different approach. I anticipate my daughters graduating with an excellent foundation and with plenty of good options to continue their educations.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 19, 2011

My son is in the tenth grade at Decatur High and has attended City of Decatur schools since Pre-k. I have been pleased with everything Decatur has to offer from academics to extra-curricular. I feel my son is being prepared for a successful transition from high school to college. The AP courses are so beneficial. A public school but as close to a private school environment without the costs.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2011

Decatur has a good school system, active community involvement, strong financial support and a well intentioned focus on college preparation for high achieving students. Attempting to offer a great education for every student, the school forgot that every student is not the same. One path is currently offered for graduation. AP courses are the only alternative to that path. My struggling child was offered only more of the same for core classes (which left him without time for electives).
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 19, 2010

DHS is a great school. My oldest came to DHS her 10th grade year and was very far behind coming out of an APS HS. With the awesome support she received, she was able to catch up to her peers and was on the honor roll for her junior/senior years. There is tremendous support for students who are behind or get behind. The teachers communicate very well and most are there before and after school for additional help if needed. I am so glad I moved to this school district. My 2nd child is a senior now and is progressing very well and we expect her to go to Emory after graduation.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 28, 2010

Incredible first year experience. Every day it gets better and better with school curriculum, class room projects and overall support! Plenty of students with great attitudes and a supportive learning environment. Excellent sports programs and community support.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 16, 2009

Both my children received the finest education I could have ever hoped for through this excellent school system. They are small and it's like having the advantage of a private school through a public system.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 5, 2009

I only attended Decatur for my freshmen year, but I have to say that it wasnt something that impressed me as my first year of high school. First off I didn't know who the principal was til the 2nd semester. She doesnt interact at all with her students. Only the 1 of assistant principal does. The school has strict and unnecessary rules. The white and black students dont really interact as much. The freshmen experience program does not give 9th graders the 'real' experience of high school. I would not recommend this school unless you really dont care what school you attend.


Posted October 20, 2008

What that parent wrote in 2004 is still true in 2008. The English Dept. is especially good. My child went to a 'name brand' college from Decatur High where her friends had gone to East Coast private schools; she said their training in writing was not as rigourous as hers at Decatur High. The student population is very diverse, and so school resources like the counseling office can be spread thin at times, but we are still happy with the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 1, 2006

I graduated from this school and this school has had alot of improvement and I agree with the parent that stated that even though there's white and black the kids and parents come together to make the school a better place. My son is a Junior at DHS and I have another child that attends Renfroe Middle both coming out of Dekalb County district and I will recommend any parent that have a child in a No Kid Left Behind school that you will consider looking into Decatur City Schools. The teachers and coaches show how much that care about your child education here at Decatur. ***Home of the real Bulldogs*** #14 QTRBack Mom
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 28, 2006

Not for every kid. High achieving kids do ok, but not everyone wants to go to an Ivy League college.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 12, 2005

All of my success in college is because of Decatur High. It is a school that does things the right way. Good people, with good ideas, good hearts, and good principles. Black and white kids don't do things seperate, but together. I'm not sure that words do it justice, but like we say DECATUR where it's GREATER.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted June 14, 2004

Decatur is a small city bordering Atlanta. It has its own school district, with small elementary schools feeding into a single middle and high school. The high school has fewer than 700 students, and the composition of the student body covers the racial and economic spectrum. Yet its student achievement levels measure up admirably to those of the large, monochromatic suburban high schools. Only a handful of grads don't go on to some sort of higher educaton, and many attend top-tier schools like Georgia Tech, Emory, Morehouse, Spelman, UNC-Chapel Hill and even the military academies and some ivys. The physical plant, though recently renovated, is nothing to brag about, but there's a lot more to a school than bricks and mortar. Decatur is obviously doing something right.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 27, 2003

Teachers are outstanding!


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.
English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 91% in 2011.

161 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
95%

2009

 
 
95%
Math

The state average for Math was 84% in 2011.

162 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
97%

2009

 
 
96%
Science

The state average for Science was 93% in 2011.

160 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
99%

2010

 
 
95%

2009

 
 
92%
Social Studies

The state average for Social Studies was 80% in 2011.

161 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
85%

2009

 
 
89%
Scale: % at or above passing

About the tests


In 2010-2011 Georgia administered the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) in English language arts, math, science and social studies to students in grade 11. The GHSGT is a standards-based assessment, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined by the state of Georgia. Students must pass all parts of the GHSGT in order to graduate from high school. The goal is for all students to pass the test.

Source: Georgia Department of Education

Writing

The state average for Writing was 95% in 2013.

187 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
97%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
92%
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Georgia administered the Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT) to students in grade 11. The GHSWT is a standards-based assessment, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined by the state of Georgia. Students must pass the GHSWT in order to graduate from high school. The goal is for all students to pass the test.

Source: Georgia Department of Education

9th Grade Literature

The state average for 9th Grade Literature was 86% in 2013.

253 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
92%

2010

 
 
93%
Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 30% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a
American Literature

The state average for American Literature was 91% in 2013.

259 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
97%

2012

 
 
91%

2011

 
 
97%

2010

 
 
91%
Biology

The state average for Biology was 75% in 2013.

179 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
63%
Coordinate Algebra

The state average for Coordinate Algebra was 37% in 2013.

227 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
65%
Economics

The state average for Economics was 79% in 2013.

247 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
65%

2010

 
 
78%
Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 75% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a
Integrated Math I

The state average for Integrated Math I was 29% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
83%

2011

 
 
75%

2010

 
 
82%
Integrated Math II

The state average for Integrated Math II was 59% in 2013.

258 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
73%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
60%
Physical Science

The state average for Physical Science was 83% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
U.S. History

The state average for U.S. History was 73% in 2013.

442 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
84%

2010

 
 
81%
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Georgia administered End-of-Course Tests (EOCT) in 9th grade math levels 1 and 2, biology, United States history, physical science, American literature and economics. The EOCT is a standards-based assessment, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined by the state of Georgia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Georgia 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 53% 44%
Black 38% 37%
Hispanic 3% 12%
Two or more races 3% 3%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Male 50%N/A51%
Female 50%N/A49%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Lauri L McKain-Fernandez
Fax number
  • (404) 370-4434

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
School leaders can update this information here.

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310 N McDonough St
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: (404) 370-4420

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