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Community H S Dist 99 - South High School

Public | 9-12 | 3036 students


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4 stars

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22 reviews of this school

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Posted October 8, 2013

Great school definitely one of the best high schools in the area of Downers Grove!
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 10, 2013

dgs This place is terrible. My little sister would come home everyday feeling dejected and complain on how horrible and mean the teachers were. She would be singled out and punished numerous times for minor issues that would typically be overlooked. She's a good kid; she's extremely polite to a fault. She has never had a problem with any teacher throughout her academic career. For her to never want to come back here speaks volumes of the teaching practices and attitudes of these teachers. The added stress was obviously not a conducive environment to learn. She's since changed schools and has never been happier. It's not school that's minority friendly. Changes definitely need to made here for the sake of future students or it risks negative press.

Posted October 10, 2011

My husband and I love this school. We came from CPS system and would not ever have received as much communication and involvement regarding my child. He has had a rough start, but we are confident he'll catch up and become acclimated to his new surroundings. We appreciate all the attention that's given to our son's education. We are proud to let others know our child attends DGS!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 12, 2011

My 2nd child is in his 3rd year at DGS. Both kids were honor students and actively involved but I have been underwhelmed by the quality of teaching at this school since the beginning. The math and science teachers are particularly weak. Each child never had more than 1 teacher year that they actually enjoyed. A school of this size with this budget should be bursting with quality teachers but such is not the case. I've discussed this with my kids' friends and they agree with me: the teachers are nothing but mediocre.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 15, 2011

This school is as big or as small as you make it! I graduated in 2008 with a lot of confidence entering my 4-year universities engineering program. My confidence was gained from experiences both in class and in the sports teams I played for (Football: 4 years, Basketball: 3 years) As everyone else here has said, the extracurriculars are what make DGS great. That brings me back my point of the school being as big as you make it. GET INVOLVED!! I came to South from a catholic grade school in the area and knew less than 20 people my first day, but by the end of my 4 years I felt like I knew the names, faces or both of about 3/4 of the school. Some of my closest friends are from the sports teams I was on or who were in the same classes as me. NERD ALERT!! The other thing I LOVED about this school was how many college level classes were offered to be taken for credit!! I was able to take Calculus 2 (Calc BC in DGS terms) for college credit and an Anatomy/Physiology college level class (not for college credit... sore subject). To sum up, if I had the chance to do it all over again, the only thing I would change would be the size of the lockers, they are way too small for a coat.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 13, 2010

My kids went here. It was the best for them. They did well, and did not have some of the problems others we have met had from other surrounding schools. And, the education and the learning experiences have benefitted my children very much. Thank you.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 24, 2010

Our second daughter recently graduated from South. Both daughters had a wonderful experience. A key to their enjoying South was getting involved. There is a wide variety of clubs and sports everyone should be able to find something. Our first daughter had the former principal who is currently the superintenant - our experience with him and his secretary was disappointing. The secetary was never in the office when I called or she had a room full of students that were very disrepectful to phone calls. Our 2nd daughter has had a wonderful experience with the new principal - he is wonderful. His only downfall is he has the same secretary. Both daughters were in the top 25% of class, with several scholarship offers. We found that many colleges knew of DGS, making early admission very easy. The PTA is very active, but is different than the grade school involvement.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 5, 2010

i came to this schol from bolingbrook and i have to honestly say i hate it.. people are stuck up and teachers are rude.. i love the track team though
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 10, 2009

I graduated from South in 2008, and after attending a top university for a year, all I can say is that I am amazed at how well-prepared I was for college-level work. Oftentimes, I was better able to deal with stress and insane workloads than many of my peers who attended prestigious private schools. South offers many opportunities for kids who want to succeed - from challenging AP classes to meaningful extracurriculars. Of course, there will always be certain teachers and certain classes that you may not like, but that is incomparable to the overall positive experience of being a student at South.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 28, 2009

I'm a junior at south and it has been great. The marching band actually competes (unlike North), the speech team is great, and there is a variety of classes.
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 13, 2008

I am currently a Junior at DGS, i cannot say my experience here has been pleasing. The teachers are nice, but lack discipline or are quick to blame students for there short comings. The teachers need to take a little bit more responsibility. Ever since Bolingbrook built there highschool the size of the school has dropped conserdibly. Which is not a problem as the hallways are crowded enough as it is.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 26, 2007

I graduated from the school in 2002 and have visited the campus several times. The extracurricular activities cannot be matched by any other school in Illinois. Parents should really encourage their children to join the speech team, a once in a lifetime opportunity that will build skills they can use for the rest of their lives. With that said, the school is lacking in course diversity. Students go to counselors with very little choice on what courses to take.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted November 17, 2006

I'm a freshman at a top 50 national university going in as a sophomore in standing. This was not thanks to the administration and faculty at South. I was discoraged from taking more than 2 AP tests, and several AP classes are such only in name. Great speech team (serves as a substitute for a JROTC), the girls seem to do better than guys at the sports. I did not particularly enjoy going to South, but I won't deny that it offers *opportunities* for personal growth.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted September 1, 2006

I just have to ask. If the quality of education at South is so great, then why are the school rankings so low. Maybe they should concentrate a little less on how great the sports programs are there and a little more on the academic programs. Parents should expect more out of their school. Maybe more of the tax payers money should go towards their education and less towards a new football field.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 29, 2006

I am a freshman at DGS and so far my year has been smooth. On the outside, DGS is a school where no one has problems, kids are friendly, and everyone does some type of sport, club, and activity. My experience so far, is not close to that at all. Discipline at the school is fair, and school fights happen weekly, I witnessing four in one week. Although South has a good reputation with our sports, maybe too much concentration is spent on this, and not academic standards. In all hallways on the first floor, there are countless awards (mainly speech and sports). And very little attention is spent on the arts of music.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 5, 2005

This is a very good school. It had high acedemic standards, that challeges each student to his or her potential. It meets students and parents needs in most aspect. The array of extracurricular activities help students develop as a person and give them something productive to do.
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 16, 2005

This school was a real disappointment, after having very positive experiences in the grade and middle schools in Downers. There are safety issues and poorly trained personnel. Many admin. employees are not helpful. New teachers are often times poor role models. Discipline appears to be often enforced unequally. This is a school were bad stuff, can happen to good kids. The guidance counselors are good, as are some of the coaches for sports teams and many extra curricular advisors. Unless your child is in the top 10%, this might not be the best experience. Classes are large.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 23, 2005

Both of my sons recently graduated from Downers South and are currently enrolled in competitive 4-year universities. They both claim that the education the received at DGS was exceptional. Although there was the occasional bad teacher, most were academically challenging and were responsive to student needs. The downfalls that my sons described about South: 1) Failure to completely embrace the diverse student body, 2) Attendance policies that were not compatible with the lives of busy students, and 3) Only applicable to certain areas (most notably languages) lack of course diversity.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted January 27, 2005

I attended DGS two years before transfering and the quality education you recieve at South is hard to top. I make that comment especially for schools located in the city of Chicago. Some of the prodominately black school are really short changing the students. Now that I actually experience going to one, I wish I was back at South because I was taught much better and had no problem with classes in 300. I love the way the school is set up in terms of academically but I do say it lacks knowledge of African Americans. Maybe one of the big challenges that South have to endure is incorporating black study at the school for the interest of the students.Most students can go to the principal directly he is a very nice man.Some teacher there can be very ignorant towards black students but most are not. Get past that though!
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 29, 2004

I am a sophomore at DGS and I have to say my experience has been excellent. The teachers truly care about the students and their performance in class. They give one-on-one attention quite often, and are always willing to give extra help. I know it has a been a tremendous benefit to me to have such caring teachers.
—Submitted by a student

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.

Grade level


The state average for Math was 52% in 2013.









The state average for Reading was 55% in 2013.









The state average for Science was 49% in 2013.








Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests

In 2012-2013 Illinois used the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) to test students in grade 11 in reading, math and science. The PSAE is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Illinois. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Illinois State Board of Education


All Students67%
Native Americann/a
Low income36%
Non-low income77%
Students with disabilities (IEP)24%
Students without disabilities72%
English language learnersn/a


All Students68%
Native Americann/a
Low income47%
Non-low income74%
Students with disabilities (IEP)36%
Students without disabilities71%
English language learnersn/a


All Students61%
Native Americann/a
Low income31%
Non-low income71%
Students with disabilities (IEP)29%
Students without disabilities65%
English language learnersn/a
Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

About the tests

In 2012-2013 Illinois used the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) to test students in grade 11 in reading, math and science. The PSAE is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Illinois. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Illinois State Board of Education. If there are a small number of students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Illinois State Board of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2011-2012 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 65% 51%
Hispanic 12% 23%
Black 11% 18%
Asian 9% 4%
Two or more races 3% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Mr. Stephen Bild


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

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1436 Norfolk Street
Downers Grove, IL 60516
Phone: (630) 795-8500


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