GreatSchools Rating

Decatur Central High School

Public | 9-12 | 1839 students

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 3 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

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28 reviews of this school


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Posted February 23, 2014

I've watched my child fall from being an honor roll student at Valley Mills to mediocre at the middle school to failing at Decatur High School. I have been very proactive in attempts to be the voice of change in parent/staff communication. I've fought to get a better homework/student/teacher program to replace Skyward, which is utterly worthless. I have been mocked and made fun of by teachers in my child's class, in front of my child and other students, for my efforts. I have tried everything I can to make positive changes for 4 very long years as I've watched my child slowly regress in this school system. The staff is jaded, immature, apathetic, and untrained in making good use of their resources. Its literally sad that a school system is allowed to continue to operate at this level. The leadership appears to be overwhelmed and unable to make changes where needed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 23, 2013

This school has one of the best teachers ever! They really focus on the students and them with everything they teach!
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 17, 2013

It's a good school. It's really good schools that helps you learn about journalism, art, technology, communication, and much more. It's should be really good school for people who look forward to be successful in their future.
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 17, 2013

The teachers are awesome and i like the way they teach.i think its one if the best school for students.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 26, 2012

I've been going to Decatur for my whole life. I'm currently a junior. I'm failing because of the teachers here. Most of them do not even teach. They usually just had us packets or paper work to work on the rest the class. This semester I only have two teachers who actually stand up and teach. I would not recommend this school.
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 8, 2012

I am curently a sophmore at Decatur Central High school and I have been attending school in this twnship for around 8 years with many of the same kids my entire life. In Decatur Central there are many students who do not care about their future enough to attempt to get good grades or try at anything, this is the reason why our test scores are so low. Many of the familys in this district are low income familys. Drugs, sex, smokeing, and pregnancy are huge issues at this school that continue to worsin day by day. Despite these many problems... I have yet to see another school with students who care for each other as much as the student body at DCHS! Decatur Central has a very tight nit family atmosphere with students who always have each others backs. This school does not have a problem with forming clics or discluting people. DCHS has outstanding arts departments and outstanding athletics, despite their horrible accademics. The staff members at this school form a very personal bond with their students and strive to help them not only in accademics but also with life problems. I am proud to be a Decatur Central Hawk!!
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 16, 2011

My wife and I were fortunate enough to meet two of the teachers, the principal and 40 Junior students at Disney World while waiting for the Parade of Lights to begin. The program that brings 40 Junior students to Disney each year is a wonder and gives students opportunities to learn and have fun at the happiest place on earth. The teachers and principal we met obviously were well liked and respected. We saw real communication and felt that these were the kind of teachers any parent would want teaching their kids. The principal had an open, honest and friendly relationship with the students and knew them all by name. The students were friendly, respectful and well behaved, not something you can usually say about 40 teen agers in one place at one time. It was the pleasantest experience we had at Disney and we wish the teachers, students and principal well. John and Jayne Kelly


Posted October 3, 2009

I teach at DCHS's alternative school called the Decatur Enrichment Center. At least 1/4 of the graduating class graduated because of our school! These students would most likely have dropped out without our program -- some have full time jobs and are the sole support for their families, some have life threatening health conditions, many have children of their own. Most of our kids have one parent in prison or dead and their families struggle with drug addiction, suicide, murder, and everything in between. For many different reasons, traditional schooling was not successful with our kids and so this creative project-based program exists to serve them. We are so proud of our superintendent, Don Stinson, for founding the school and our program coordinator, John Pietrzak who goes above and beyond for our students who are really struggling in life. This program is truly amazing and runs on a shoe string budget with four teachers teaching every high school subject for our kids.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted July 11, 2009

Decatur is the worst school I know. The teachers do not curb bad behavior. The teachers do not assist those who need a little encouragement. Mostly, the children have no respect for the adults or visitors. I know this firsthand. This school is the worst school I have ever seen. Children are definetly not given equal learning opportunities. Send your children elsewhere!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 28, 2009

I think decatur is fine. It's all about how you raise your kid. You have to be involved. I am a 1985 graduate and I have a son graduating in May and one son going to be a freshman.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 29, 2008

I am a past student of this school and my parents kept me in the same school district all my life. I love the elementary. I did not like middle school at all. How ever I loved my high school. I was class of 2006 and I believe if it was not for that school I would not be where I am today. I am currently in college with a 3.0. Have APT of my own and work at a hotel. I was in color guard most of high school and that was the best thing I had ever begged my parents to let me do. I would have to say that doing that kept me out of a lot of trouble and helped me with teenage life. So if any of the teachers read this, Thanks for all that you did for me.
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 15, 2008

Decatur Central would be a great school if they treated all students the same like they are supposed to!The teaching staff is great but,the office staff has not yet learned that children should all be all be giving the same chances in every circumstance no matter how much money their parents do or do not make!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 5, 2008

I just graduated for decatur and I have to say that during the four years I was a student Decatur has done a lot to improve itslef. It is not was it could be but I think it is getting there,
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 28, 2008

I had recently just graduated from Decatur Central. I personally think a good percentage of the teachers are wonderful. I have yet to run into a teacher who was just there to earn a paycheck. The level of teacher involvement is going to vary. I wasn't a very good student and i rarely did homework, but the teachers and administrators were there to make sure I was on the right path towards graduation. Teachers don't ignore the struggling student and focus on the smart ones. Teachers ignore the punks that dont want to do their work and try to disrupt their class. If the student doesnt want to learn or pick up a decent education no teacher in the world can help them. The main issue is that they need to higher more councelours. 2 for an entire school isnt enough, and our slc leaders can only do so much. =]
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 12, 2008

Decatur is one of the worst schools you can go to. There are maybe five teachers that really cared in the whole school which makes me wonder if you dont even care about your students than what is the point in even becomeing a teacher. There are alot of them there that tend to favor students that tend to learn a lot faster than others an the teachers spent way more time with them and paid little to none to the students that really needed it. But if I learend anything from the time I spent there its that there needs to be a whole lot more teachers that give a crap.


Posted February 10, 2008

I just moved there and Decatur is alright, but the teachers, need to teach instead of giving out work.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 10, 2007

I am a Decatur grad and it is the best kept secret in Indianapolis. There innovation and focus on learning in the 21st century is very innovative. I am glad I still consider myself a hawk.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted November 2, 2007

Geez.................praise God for home schooling, DCHS has alot of bully issues, I'm sure this exsists everywhere, but typically just goes unoticed by staff or apparently just blown off. It's good to see they are finally building on. I think this school ranks lower than a 1. Check into home schooling, my children have greatly improved since I've pulled them out of the DCHS ratrace.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 1, 2007

I graduated in 2003 and felt that DC prepared me adequately for college. Since I graduated, they have greatly increased the number of AP courses, which is great for the students. I felt that the general student population really got along with each another. The school was never so big that I felt alienated, but I would still see new people every once and a while. Like every school, there are some so-so teachers, but every department has a teacher that made me really passionate about the subject. I participated in band, drama, and 2 sports, and they were good programs that reinforced the underlying strengths of cooperation, even if they didn't all produce championships. The parent involvement is so-so. It seems that they really like to push around the teachers when it comes to discipline, academic evaluations and grading policies.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted August 27, 2007

I'm a DC grad and I loved my 4 years of high school. It was great. I do agree with another viewer that DC doesn't get you ready for college. I feel like I breezed through high school, but college I felt left behind. But all in all DC is great. Oh its very political also.
—Submitted by a former 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.
Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 70% in 2013.

423 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
69%

2011

 
 
73%

2010

 
 
57%
Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 48% in 2013.

456 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
29%

2012

 
 
32%

2011

 
 
33%

2010

 
 
25%
English

The state average for English was 76% in 2013.

461 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
66%

2012

 
 
66%

2011

 
 
56%

2010

 
 
55%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Indiana used the End-of-Course (ECA) assessment to test students in middle and high school in Algebra I, Biology I, and English 10. The ECA is a criterion-referenced assessment developed specifically for students completing their instruction in Algebra I, Biology I, or English 10. The goal is for all students to score at the passing level on the test.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

  • In 2011-2012, this school received a grade of "C".
  • In 2010-2011, this school received a grade of "C".
  • In 2009-2010, this school received a grade of "F".

About the tests


Indiana uses the A through F School Grading System to assess the overall performance of a school. For the 2011-2012 school year, schools were graded based on performance and participation levels in state standardized tests and student growth using the Indiana Growth Model. In addition, high schools were graded on four-year (on-time) graduation rates and college and career readiness indicators including Advanced Placment exam results and industry certification exam results.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

The GreatSchools rating is a simple tool for parents to compare schools based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. It compares schools across the state, where the highest rated schools in the state are designated as “Above Average” and the lowest “Below Average.” It is designed to be a starting point to help parents make baseline comparisons. We always advise parents to visit the school and consider other information on school performance and programs, as well as consider their child's and family's needs as part of the school selection process.

 
Below average

Test score rating
College readiness rating

1-3 Below Average

4-7 Average

8-10 Above Average

 

How schools in the state rate:

20%
of schools in the state are Below average
55%
of schools in the state are Average
25%
of schools in the state are Above average

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

The graphs below compare this school's results in each area to other schools in the district and state.

Test score rating 20131What's this?

Test score rating examines how students at this school performed on standardized tests compared with other schools in the state.

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State
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9
10

College readiness rating 20132What's this?

College readiness rating combines this high school's graduation rates with data about college entrance exams, both of which are indicators of how well schools are preparing students for success in college and beyond.

Close
This school
District
State
1
2
3
4
5
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9
10

SAT participation

52%

Average SAT score

910

Graduation rate

81.9%


1 Test scores are based on 2012-13 ISTEP and End of Course Assessment results.

2 This rating is based on composite SAT scores, SAT participation (% of graduates taking the SAT), and four-year adjusted graduation rates from 2011-12.

Starting College

How many graduates from this school ...


Enroll in college immediately after high school graduation1

This school

 
 
46%

State Average

 
 
64%

Need remediation, or help strengthening basic skills2*

This school

 
 
41%

State Average

 
 
31%

First year

How well prepared for college are these graduates?*


Average first year GPA (out of 4.0)2
2.4
This school
2.6
State Average

Average number of units completed in first year2
16
This school
30
Recommended load

Sticking with it

How many college-going students...*


Enroll in college for a second year3

This school

 
 
66%

State Average

 
 
75%
1Source: Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indiana Dept. of Education, National Student Clearinghouse, 2011-2012
2Source: Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indiana Dept. of Education, 2011-2012
3Source: Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indiana Dept. of Education, 2010-2011
* Of those that went to Indiana public postsecondary institutions

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 79% 72%
Black 11% 12%
Hispanic 7% 10%
Multiracial 3% 4%
American Indian 0% 0%
Asian 0% 2%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: IN Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students participating in free or reduced-price lunch program 58%N/A46%
Special education 14%N/A14%
English learners 2%N/A5%
Source: IN Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

College readiness and student pathways

Students typically attend these schools prior to attending this school Decatur Middle School
Percentage of students going to 2-year college 22% (2012)
Percentage of students going to 4-year college 55% (2012)
Colleges most students attend after graduation Indiana State University
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Security personnel
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
Clubs
  • Special olympics

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Engineering
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Industrial shop
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Science lab
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • Auto mechanics
  • Computer programming
  • Electrical
  • Engineering
  • HVAC certification
  • IT support

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Performing arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • Industrial / graphic design
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Drill team
  • Drum line
  • Flag girls
  • Marching band
  • Student newspaper
  • Television/Radio News
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs
Languages supported by ESL/ELL programs
  • Other
  • Spanish
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Clubs
  • Foreign language club: Latin, Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Swimming pool
Clubs
  • SADD
  • Special olympics

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Advanced placement courses
  • Honors track
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Community college courses
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Clubs
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:05 a.m.
School end time
  • 3:45 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Mr Joe Preda
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • No
Fax number
  • (317) 856-2157

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Advanced placement courses
  • College prep
  • Core knowledge
  • Honors track
  • Project-based
  • STEM
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Engineering
  • Foreign languages
  • Humanities
  • Performing arts
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Foreign languages taught
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs
Languages supported by ESL/ELL programs
  • Other
  • Spanish
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • Auto mechanics
  • Business management
  • Computer programming
  • Construction / building
  • Cosmetology
  • Culinary
  • Electrical
  • Engineering
  • HVAC certification
  • IT support
  • Industrial / graphic design
  • Plumbing
  • Welding certification

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Special education coordinator
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Community college courses
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Industrial shop
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Performance stage
  • Science lab
  • Swimming pool
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

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

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Community service
  • DECA
  • Drill team
  • Drum line
  • Flag girls
  • Foreign language club: Latin, Spanish
  • Marching band
  • National Honor Society
  • SADD
  • Special olympics
  • Student council/government
  • Student newspaper
  • Television/Radio News
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
School colors
  • Blue and Gold
School mascot
  • Hawk
School leaders can update this information here.

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How to apply

Does this school have an application or enrollment process?
 

No

Planning Ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Indiana State University
College preparation / awareness offered
College presentations or information sessions
Community college courses
School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Students' post-graduation plans in 2012
2 year college - 22%
4 year college - 55%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

5251 Kentucky Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46221
Website: Click here
Phone: (317) 856-5288

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