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GreatSchools Rating

Southwest Dekalb High School

Public | 9-12

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

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

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Parent involvement

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27 reviews of this school


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Posted today

Exciting facilities to support our talented students. Southwest DeKalb High School has recently completed construction on the 83,816-square-foot Fine Arts Center and renovations. The new wing includes a 640-seat auditorium and a two-story block with 31 instructional classrooms, including computer, math and science labs; special education rooms; chorus, drama and band rooms to accommodate 300 students; and an amphitheater.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 1, 2011

Excellent place to be. Lots of top scholars at Universities come from here the children are the cream of the crop!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 18, 2009

My personal observation is the staff and the adminstration don't always put the students education first. It is sad but I realize it is my responsiblity to make sure my kids get what they need. Mr. Prince appears to be weak and very disrepected. In times like these we need a strong leader. There is more to life than SWD band and the nasty dancing divas. I am impressed with the magnet program and encourage them.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 12, 2009

This school is average. There are some administrators and teachers that hide some of the things that go on so the reputation can be protected. My daughter goes there and had done pretty well but it has taken a serious amount of monitoring the school and teachers to keep her on track. Not to say this school is better or worse than others including private but it is up to the child and parents to get you kid through with a chance at a decent future. If I had the opportunity I would have taken her to another school that focused more on truly helping kids be the best they can be.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 12, 2009

My daughter was a transfer student from Cedar Grove Middle. She was in the magnet program at both Cedar Grove and Southwest. The teachers have been exceptional. My daughter has maintained 4.0 average the four years in attendance at Southwest. She is graduating this year and I feel that she has been well prepared to venture into her college experience thanks to the teachers and administration of Southwest.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 11, 2009

this is a terible school the safety is horrible the teachers are worse and the princple Mr. prince is scared of every student there overall this school could be much better
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 2, 2008

I graduated from Swd in 2007. Since i was in the magnet program i really can not comment on the other classes ,but i can review the school in general.The administration needs help, there are a few exceptions but overall a lot of people need to lose their jobs. As a student i always felt like they looked at me as a bad apple, they look at every student that way and expect every student to be up to no good.A lot of teachers are subpar aswell, but in conclusion if i had kids i wouldnt them there but if i had no other choice i wouldn't be greatly upset.
—Submitted by a student


Posted March 30, 2008

great school my daughter had a great time and excelled, would recommend. it's better than chamblee because i sent my daughter there and she hated it. they would try to throw her out if she got a c and thats crazy, give a child some time to grow!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 28, 2008

This is an excellent school my daughter graduated in 2005 with great accomplishments and is about to graduate from college.My son is a student there now and has received great honors for academic achievements .
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 28, 2008

SWD is more than just the band and the football team. Personally as a student who has been apart of the band I think they aren't that good, but the academics are really good. Students can get the instruction that they need during the day magnet or not. You should send your child there even though the administration isn't that great......
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 18, 2008

SWD is a great school. Of course, some things have changed since I was there in 2001, but what school hasn't changed. I work in the Stephenson High school district and that school has changed (and I'm not talking about for the better). Instead of pulling our kids out of schools and moving them to 'other districts,' lets address the problems. I read a lot of reviews from parents on here, but I don't recall seeing this kind of participation at the board meetings and PTA meetings. If the concerned parents are not addressing the issues, then they will forever be 'issues.'
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted September 17, 2007

I am an 2007 alumni of SWD.. Despite the lack of classrooms and teachers, SWD has always gave the best education from the best and experienced teachers. SWD is nothing but a big family.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 11, 2007

Yes the band is good, football team, NJROTC, and the magnet program, but SWD has much more to offer. The school just needs more positive role models and student leaders to take it to another level!!!
—Submitted by a former student


Posted November 27, 2006

This school has one of the greatest Band and extra curricular activities programs around. However, I tend to agree with others that the academics and the learning environment are not up to par. Classes are over crowded, teachers are either afraid or non-sympathetic toward the students. When my children were attending I was told of all the horrors that go on in the school and we decided to move them to another area. My oldest daughter was in the marching band and was disappointed to have to leave it but, she understood.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 4, 2006

This is only my first year at SWD and i must admit the school has, but depspite things going on at the school the staff and students do the best they can with what they have. There isnt an extremely serious gang problem at the school. I must admit there are gangs at the school but you will probably find gangs in every public school in metro atlanta. There are few teachers that dont care, half teh teachers i've had this year at SWD i couldnt stand but i know everything that i hated about them was to used to make me a better student so i cant say the teachers dont care. I dont know much about the administartors and counselors helping with college, but as an administrator it is not a requirement they have other things to tend to(if they dont). It does seem like counselers try and help.
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 3, 2006

I am a current student at Southwest Dekalb. Although many of the struggles the school has faced are apparent we have continued to make it through. There are many faculty and staff present at the school that care about our futures. Many stay well after the official school day has ended to make sure things are running smoothly. There is always someone willing to lend a helping hand, and it s because of some of the faculty that I myself made it through this year. And not once since I transferred to Southwest, from my previous school, have I felt unsafe or that my life was at risk at any time. Everyone there does the best they can with what they have, because the county board of education doesn t. Many teachers prepare most of our daily class activities with funds from their own pockets, without the help of anyone. Our administrative team does care regardless of some individuals opinions. They make sure we re alright beyond the classroom. And when an administrator shows enough concern about you getting into college, even though that isn t in their job description, that shows a lot about one s character. So before some judges Southwest off rumors, hearsay, and the media come take a look for yourself. Even though we re a little rough around the edges, Southwest is one of the best schools here, and we should get our overdue respect!
—Submitted by a student


Posted March 14, 2006

As a graduate of the class of 2005, I think the school is just fine. The so called outrageous behavior and gang related activities never happenend in the four years me or my younger brother have attended the school. The caliber of teachers that the school provides is top notch. Sure there are the few teachers that don't teach well, but many of the others far out shine those insignificant few. The quality of extracurricular activities is also good. The band, NJROTC program, and various sports featured on campus are great activities to join. The groups help promotes a sense of togetherness and family. As far as parents being involved, that could improve. If there are any problems with the students, it's because parents don't show enough interest in the academic lives of the students. Too often parents are showing up at sports events and too little at parent/ teacher conference.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted March 10, 2006

I am a current student at Southwest Dekalb. There is an extensive amount of disruption here, specifically fights and rudeness. Many of the administrators at my school care nothing about the students' future. It seems like they come to work to just get a paycheck, instead of trying to make an impact on the lives of others, which is what I thought was their job. Our current principal is like William Taft after Theodore Roosevelt's presidency: inadequite for the job started by his predecessor. Our last principal, Mr. Bradshaw, showed a high level of concern for the students. The security team is....alright. Despite all of these things, there is some good here. I am in the magnet program, where I take an AP class, and my teachers are good, specifically Ms. Gaddy and Mr. Maple. Extra-curricular activities are one of the best. Parents seem to be involved.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 27, 2006

As a magnet alum, I may not know everyone's experience. My instructors did prepare well enough to attend and complete Ga Tech, but I also had a very involved parent who made sure that what needed to happen did. Truly from my experience the counselors were not conserned about the needs of students on the college track (only those who were in jeopardy of not graduating). There were many extracurriculars to partake in that can help make your child well rounded and if not you can create a club or organization. There was a pride of most attending the school even with such detrements. My peers did go to schools like spellman and morehouse, yale and harvard but this is also because they themselves were driven to succeed.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted February 20, 2006

SWD is a terrible and dangerous high school to attend. The gangs have taken over the whole school and the administration won't admit they have a gang problem, so it all gets swept under the rug.They walk around and pacify the trouble makers out of fear and punish the students who are just trying to survive. If you want to see your child graduate or alive, don't send them to SWD.
—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.
English Language Arts

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

378 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
90%

2009

 
 
88%
Math

The state average for Math was 84% in 2011.

374 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
89%

2009

 
 
90%
Science

The state average for Science was 93% in 2011.

379 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
90%

2009

 
 
86%
Social Studies

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

379 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
77%

2009

 
 
85%
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.

266 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
92%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
93%
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.

265 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
81%

2012

 
 
76%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
76%
Algebra I

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

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
31%
American Literature

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

188 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
92%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
87%

2010

 
 
88%
Biology

The state average for Biology was 75% in 2013.

290 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
69%

2012

 
 
62%

2011

 
 
62%

2010

 
 
51%
Coordinate Algebra

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

235 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
10%
Economics

The state average for Economics was 79% in 2013.

172 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
87%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
74%

2010

 
 
78%
Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 75% in 2013.

192 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
52%

2012

 
 
n/a
Integrated Math I

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

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
36%

2011

 
 
47%

2010

 
 
60%
Integrated Math II

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

175 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
40%

2012

 
 
45%

2011

 
 
49%

2010

 
 
39%
Physical Science

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

125 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
68%

2011

 
 
64%

2010

 
 
60%
U.S. History

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

213 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
80%

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
75%

2010

 
 
68%
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
Black 97% 37%
Hispanic 1% 12%
Two or more races 1% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 0% 3%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
White 0% 44%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Assistant principal(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Security personnel
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Math specialist(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Special education coordinator
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school community.

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Special education / special needs

Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Angela Bethea
Fax number
  • (678) 874-1910

Programs

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Special education coordinator
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Parent center
  • Performance stage
  • Science lab
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 »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

School culture

Parent involvement
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Tutor
  • Volunteer in the classroom
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

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2863 Kelley Chapel Rd
Decatur, GA 30034
Phone: (678) 874-1902

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