My eldest son is a DECA graduate in which he started in the 7th grade. Also, I currently have children enrolled. We had nothing but great experiences at DECA, inside and outside the classroom. The staff want the very best for all students and is wlling to help your child reach their goals. There is alot of college prep work involved, which in my eldest son case has prepared him to be successful thus far in his college endeavors! If your child is prepared to work hard, and your a involved parent, this is a great school!
I can only give my perspective as a teacher who works there. DECA is unlike the schools I attended when I was in grade school and by that I mean that I went to schools where kids (for the most part) did what they were told without the need to constantly redirect them, repeat directions, or issue consequences. I want to write something fair so let me put it like this.
*Teachers are nice (several young and new to the field) and willing to provide additional assistance and accommodate as much as reasonably possible to ensure success.
*HR and administration are pleasant.
*School functions as a team and make sure people are on the same page
*Kids "typically are" fairly disrespectful towards teachers, subs, and other personnel. It's definitely the most unpleasant part of the environment and I suspect this heavily contributes to the teacher retention rate. Students definitely will not hesitate to put you to task. Many kids just don't care about getting negative consequences at all. Some are good and well behaved but these students unfortunately are Not the majority.
*Technology is subpar and makes it difficult to perform the job efficiently.
*Classrooms don't have doors that lock (or doors period) which is quite problematic for teachers. This is due to the way the school is set up.
It IS true that at DECA.. college is heavily stressed and the curriculum can be a bit much for some students who may not necessarily be college bound material. However, if you make it through DECA you'll probably be more prepared for college than several other urban schools. Speaking of which, this is actually one of the highest, if not the highest performing urban school in this area. There's just a lot of discipline problems. Many times I feel several students are very socially handicapped when you just look at the way they carry themselves on a daily basis and just in general interactions with adults.
Parents are involved and do share concern about their success of their kids but it's not as prevalent as the current staff (including myself) would like. I've definitely learned to be more patient and calm working here. Overall, it's a good experience (and I really DO mean that) but I wouldn't say it's quote, unquote: "exceptional".
The School is designed for students that want to succeed and for being in existence for such a short time they have shown results! And as a former student I will tell you DECA students work just as hard as college students and it all pays off!
This school puts way to much on there students.They have them more worried about passing a 'gateway' than actually learning anything.Instead of grades, they use 'indicators'.The students are always running around trying to make up indicators and no learning happens. And once you get in the principal will do everything you she can to keep you there.I mean, this would be great if the kids wanted to be there.But they don't, and since they do this indicator stuff instead of grades, it's nearly impossible to leave and attend another high school, You would mostly always end up as a freshman because the indicators wouldn't transfer over to credits. I was completely bored at this school. They are so serious and strict, and EXTREMELY dead set on college and writing college papers that the kids learn nothing of what they should in High School?!
This school gets kids ready for college. It teaches them how to study for college, pass college test, write college papers and how to act as a college student. In addition, their affiliation with UD and Sinclair allows the students to take college courses. Several students from the last two graduating classes had associates degrees. They have very small classes and all of the kids recieve partial if not full scholarships from UD, WSU, Miami and other great colleges.