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Central Dauphin Senior High School

Public | 9-12


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3 stars

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15 reviews of this school

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Posted September 17, 2012

Everyone fights about everthing at this school. Worst school ever! Im putting my kids in a private school because CD and CDEAST are horrible. Parents are not correcting their children at home and they hand them money to do what ever they want except act right in school why should they, their parents wil pay their way out of anything..
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 22, 2012

As a student, I do not believe that the previous parents' comments can accurately describe life inside Central Dauphin High School. In one, a lack of ethnic diversity is mentioned. To that, what can I say? It's a false statement. The faculty more than willing to help you before school, after school, and even through e-mail. Having been disciplined recently... I can say that the school has strong and (yet not overly strong) principals and leadership. These are things that parents just cannot see.
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 30, 2011

I am currently a student at Central Dauphin High School. I went to a very small catholic school for 9 years and finally decided that it was the for a change. Going to Central Dauphin was the best decision that I have ever made. It has every good aspect that one should look for if they are considering CD. First off, because of its size, there is a wide array of student interests that you will find. There truly is a group of people for every student. The sports, arts, and extra curriculars are state of the art. On a personal level I am highly involved with the music and drama departments and you will not find a better school for that in the area. Another extremely important aspect is the phenomenal teachers. CLass sizes are small and every teacher I have had, I have been able to create a connection with past the classroom. They want the best for their students and show a great respect, of course as long as the student is willing to return it. Students will always say that they hate high school and everyone will have unpleasant experiences, but aside from all of that, CD is the best place in the Harrisburg area that one could send their children.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 16, 2011

The misconduct that goes on in this school is unbelievable. The teachers dont care. Classrooms are so unorganized the students do what they please. No wonder the grade averages are so low at Central Dauphin High.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 25, 2010

Well rounded school that excells in sports and the arts. Too focused by Administration on state test results, but teachers and staff try to provide a complete learning environment. Currently doing an outstanding job, given budget constraints, but the future cloudy. Declining revenues may result in arts and eventually sports cuts without state or federal funding.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 17, 2009

My children and grandchildren had/are attending this school and had received/are receiving a great education.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 28, 2009

What can I say, if you are looking to move I strongly suggest you look else where. You will get nothing but a huge headach!! The teachers are more concerned about who they like, and not about what there job should be. The administrative building will never help SO DON'T ASK!! This school is the worse school my children have ever attended!! So, whatever you do, do not go to this school!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 1, 2008

As a parent of 2 students at this school, I am never surprised by the lack of support. It seems that the administration is so busy trying to enforce ridiculous rules that they have no time or motivation to be involved with students or parents who want to help their child succeed. One child is an athlete, and upper average student. His evaluation of the school is that it is a hard place to be. The second child, although intelligent struggles with everything. I was told by the principal that he is not a bad kid, just a free spirit, 'and we here at CDHS do not encourage free spirits.' When I requested assistance to try to help get him back on track, I was told there is nothing they can do to help. I have nothing good that I can say concerning this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 4, 2008

As a parent of a graduated learning support student, I found the school staff unwilling to assist with providing options for post secondary education.It seems as though the guidance counselors were more willing to assist the upper classmen than those students in the middle or lower section of the class.I would think that the counselors would be more involved with these students, since many were told by the teachers there is nothing out there. It also seems as though the staff only completed paperwork as mandated by the state in order to receive their funding and had no real interest in encouraging the student to pursue a higher level of education.What a shame for the students who lacked the encouragement from parents and teachers to pursue a higher education.Many of these students would possibly 'blossom' in an environment that is encouraging and rewarding for them.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 10, 2006

Parents seem to be very involved (as we are) but repeated requests to the administration fall on deaf ears. School facility is modern and beautiful, wonderful extracurricular, but not much learning there. Too much emphasis on socialization among the students. Ethnic diversity is small (mostly a white school,) but this has more to do with the demographics of the feeder schools than anything else. More does need to be done about discipline and traffic issues.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 30, 2006

The academics are okay. There are 4 State Policeman walking the halls at all times due to the discipline problem and drugs. A lot of incidents go unpublished. This school has NO diversity, so if you want your child to live in a white world send them to CD.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 28, 2006

More emphasis should be given to teacher qualifications because I have heard many complaints from my children who attend both CD and CD East. Sure there are some good teachers, but the ones that are on the borderline should be let go and their jobs given to hard working newly graduated teachers who would make the effort to get the subject matter taught to the students. Extracurricular activities are fine...more emphasis should be given to the basics first.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 7, 2005

I am a former teacher in this school. The academic programs are strong; however, the discipline problems are so huge that order and management takes much much priority over learning. Parent involvmenet is poor, I do not recommend CD.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted January 17, 2005

A very negative environment...teachers expend more energy atttempting to control a bad demographical mix of students and less time teaching. Poor planning/leadership at the top does not encourage a positive learning environment in a difficult situation. (Admittedly a tough task)
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 7, 2004

The teachers need to get more involved with the students and get interested in them as people not just a body sitting in their class. This school also needs to replace the Police Guard with Anger Management Counselors. This school is all about saving face and not reporting half of the violence that actually goes on here.
—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.

Grade level


The state average for Math was 60% in 2012.

440 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Reading was 68% in 2012.

442 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Science was 42% in 2012.

423 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Writing was 83% in 2012.

434 students were tested at this school in 2012.








Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests

In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education


All Students68%
Economically disadvantaged40%
Students with disabilities (IEP)8%
English language learnersn/a


All Students77%
Economically disadvantaged57%
Students with disabilities (IEP)21%
English language learnersn/a


All Students47%
Economically disadvantaged23%
Students with disabilities (IEP)18%
English language learnersn/a


All Students85%
Economically disadvantaged53%
Students with disabilities (IEP)37%
English language learnersn/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests

In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Pennsylvania Department 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 77% 71%
Black 10% 15%
Hispanic 5% 9%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 4% 3%
Two or more races 4% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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437 Piketown Rd
Harrisburg, PA 17112
Phone: (717) 703-5360


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