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GreatSchools Rating

Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Public | 9-12 & ungraded | 530 students

We are best known for pre-professional arts program.
 
 

 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 4 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

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15 reviews of this school


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Posted September 2, 2013

Kudos to Ellington! As a parent of two graduates I'm so excited about the latest news: DESA had a 99% senior on-time graduation rate, Those seniors earned over $5 million in scholarships(!), Ellington achieved the highest proficiency level in the DC CAS standardized testing, Reward level - the only high school to do so that does not have a minimum GPA for acceptance, For the 2nd year in a row, Ellington swept the DC-CAP STARS talent competition - this year with winners from vocal music, dance, and instrumental music, Ellington continues to improve with each year, in no small part because of the caring and supportive Ellington community. Congrats to all the staff, students, and parents!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 29, 2013

The audition process is unorganized and all about who you know at at this school. It's sad because the children with the skills to continue studying are overlooked for the children that live out of state, know someone behind the scenes or look a certain way.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 13, 2013

The education here is so bad, that I felt like I hadn't gone to school the years that I had been there. Only certain departments work hard and some kids learned. I feel unprepared for college and there was no strong college counseling. This school may have a somewhat good graduation rate but I doubt the kids who go to college will stay in college. Duke Ellington simply does not teach you the academic skills necessary - or sometimes even the arts - and teachers sometimes grade without any basis behind their decisions. I would not recommend going here. It is however quite helpful with certain disabilities. Although the school is extremely disorganized. Most teachers are kind although not motivating and peers seem disengaged and do not seem to try in the academics. Not a good experience at all! I worry about the years of school I have essentially missed while I attended Duke Ellington, as I go on to college. All of my knowledge is from my past schools. I do not recommend it.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 4, 2013

THIS is a great school! Kids actually like to go to school here. There are always those who are bitter because they got kicked out or couldn't adjust. But it is the best thing that can happen to the right student.


Posted November 1, 2012

I as a child always had a dream to go to Duke Ellington Scol Of The Arts..... But now i see that 3 out of every 10 people get accepted into this chool of my choice.... So now all i can do is TRY and TRY my hardest to get accepte in t this school.


Posted May 28, 2012

I came to this school hoping for a good arts and academic education. The arts education was good aside from teachers who don't grade based on valid evidence. The academics were so horrible I am most definitely transferring as well as possibly moving to Virginia. The academic level was the same in history as I got in third grade. Biology was so remedial I was moved into AP Biology as a freshman, a course typically only taken by juniors or seniors. They try to make it seem as though they put work into the academic portion of the school, but it's all a big joke. This school was the most remedial and utterly ridiculous thing, it's a joke to even call it school.
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 12, 2011

There is no shortage of talented kids at Ellington, but the school does not require nor hold the kids to high standards. The kids should shine on stage as well as off - sadly that is not the case. When the performances are over and the lights are off, the schools interest in making these kids better, more disciplined, sort of fizzles. Since it is a performing arts school, academics are not given the highest priority which, in my opinion, will leave the kids unprepared for life after high school. This is a school of less than 500 students -- I see a great opportunity to make these kids strive to be better and brighter and hold them to the highest of standards (like the Seed School) whether its with academics or their art or with their friends or teachers or other adults. Unfortunately, when the curtain goes down, so to does the expectations for these kids. The lack of discipline and structure and focus is very disappointing. I expected much more from this school...
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 7, 2010

Duke Ellington School of the Arts is full of many talented, lively students. I am a student myself and I love the people like a family. However, Ellington ceases to provide me with a good education. I would say that my arts classes are good and the education I have received in math and english is so-so but the level of teaching in the rest of my classes (biology, french, history) is positively unacceptable. Along with that, the school is terribly disorganized. I will most likely be transferring in the near future.
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 14, 2008

As a parent of the Ellington School of the Arts, I have to say that this institution is really a competitive one. I absolutely love it and it is evident that the students love it as well. The principal is dynamite!!!What makes him dynamite is the fact that he shows unconditional love for his students and staff and I don't have to mention the parents. He is a fair individual who really supports his school. Whatever or wherever his students are performing, you can be sure to see him there cheering them on. The principal constantly stress the importance of academics to his students and reminding them that while have great talent is 'great', having an incredible education is even greater.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 7, 2006

As an alumna, I can say I graduated as a well rounded visual artist. My talents were nourished by my instructors from the 1st day of 9th grade all the way to the last day of 12th. The teachers at Duke Ellington take their jobs seriously and appreciate students who take what they do seriously also. I received tremendous help in applying to colleges from teahcers both artistic and academic and was accepted and now attend my first choice university in NYC. Other classmates from my grad class now attend Berklee School of Music, Rutgers, Juilliard, Harvard, George Mason amoung others. The student body of Ellington is more like a family and everyday at school was different and full of fun things to do while learning.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted July 7, 2006

I am a parent of an Ellington student. I am very proud of the overall accomplishments of the school. If D.C. decides to close Ellington as planned; it will be the worse mistake they have ever made. An Ellington student is a different breed of student; only the Ellington staff who are artists themselves understand fully how the students learn.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 10, 2004

As an alumnus of Ellington, an alumnus of the nation's only University of the Arts, having had a successful career in the arts and now a certified teacher at a high school for the arts I have a great appreciation of how valuable my training at Ellington was. I thank God everyday for a special place like Ellington which gave me the possibility to make my sucess and dreams eminent. Ellington also was the ground breaking conversation when I met my wife as she is an Ellington graduate also and she is a teacher at a middle school for the arts. We both agree that this school truly prepared us for a career in the arts as well that the key at Ellington was the discipline which has always sustained us. It is our hope that we may inspire up and coming artists the way Ellington did for us.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted August 13, 2004

i am not a parent i was a student at ellington. the school is great for those who are looking to make the arts an occupation. The school has great teachers in all the 7 arts departments. Academic teachers are all great also. They try to help the students prepare for college life.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted February 23, 2004

Both my sons are graduates and both got into their first choice colleges (Rutgers & Vassar). The atmosphere at the school is vibrant. Everyone there wants to be there. Talent is respected. It's not perfect, but it's a great place.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 9, 2003

i'm not a parent but i'm a student. This school is great for preparing for college while having great fun around very talented people.


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.
Math

The state average for Math was 45% in 2013.

142 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
75%

2012

 
 
58%

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
60%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 45% in 2013.

142 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
80%

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
72%
Science

147 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
64%
Writing

144 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
84%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 43% in 2011.

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Reading

The state average for Reading was 44% in 2011.

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Science

The state average for Science was 35% in 2011.

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 52% in 2011.

154 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
60%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 48% in 2011.

154 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
72%
Science

The state average for Science was 41% in 2011.

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 45% in 2011.

152 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
69%

2010

 
 
69%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

All Students75%
Black, non-Hispanic74%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanicn/a
Economically disadvantaged64%
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Reading

All Students80%
Black, non-Hispanic80%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanicn/a
Economically disadvantaged79%
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Science

All Students64%

Writing

All Students84%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

In 2012-2013, this school was designated "Reward".

About the tests


The DC school classification system includes multiple measures to evaluate performance and student growth. The possible classifications, from highest to lowest, are Reward, Rising, Developing, Focus and Priority. These measures include the DC CAS, annual growth, graduation rates, attendance rates and participation rates. Under the system, required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), each school is given a School Index Score based on the performance of its students. Schools receive different levels of support, resources, flexibility and monitoring based on their classification.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent 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.

 
Average

Test score rating
Student growth rating
College readiness rating

1-3 Below Average

4-7 Average

8-10 Above Average

 

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

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

Test score rating 20131What's this?

Test score rating examines how students at this school performed on standardized tests in the District of Columbia. Test scores are based on 2012-13 DC CAS results.

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Student growth rating 20132What's this?

Student growth rating measures whether students at this school are making academic progress over time. Specifically, the rating looks at how much progress individual students have made on reading and math assessments during the past year or more.

Close
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City
1
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10

College readiness rating 20133What'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
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City
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ACT/SAT participation

81%

ACT/SAT college ready

19%

Graduation rate

96%


1 This rating is based on 2012-13 DC CAS results from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

2 This rating is based on 2012-13 Median Growth Percentiles in math and reading from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

3 This rating is based on composite ACT scores, ACT participation (% of 11th graders taking the ACT), and four-year adjusted graduation rates from 2011-12.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 76% 1%
White 10% 1%
Hispanic 9% N/A
Asian 2% N/A
Two or more races 2% 57%
Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 35%N/AN/A
Special education 3%N/A13%
English learners 2%N/A7%
Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2011-2012

Attendance

  This school District averageState average
All Students 96%N/AN/A
Asian/Pacific Islander 98%N/AN/A
Black, not Hispanic 96%N/AN/A
Hispanic 96%N/AN/A
White, not Hispanic 96%N/AN/A
Economically disadvantaged 95%N/AN/A
Students with disabilities 95%N/AN/A
Limited English proficient 95%N/AN/A
Source: DCPS, 2009-2010

Graduation rate

  This school District averageState average
All Students 98%N/A75%
Female 97%N/A77%
Male 100%N/A71%
Asian/Pacific Islander 100%N/A79%
Black, not Hispanic 99%N/A77%
Hispanic 89%N/A62%
White, not Hispanic 100%N/A73%
Economically disadvantaged 100%N/A96%
Not economically disadvantaged 97%N/A58%
Students with disabilities 100%N/A94%
General-Education students 98%N/A73%
Source: DCPS, 2009-2010

College readiness and student pathways

Percentage of students going to 2-year college 4% (2013)
Percentage of students going to 4-year college 91% (2013)
Percentage of students going to the military 1% (2013)
Percentage of students going to vocational programs 3% (2013)
Percentage of students going directly into the workforce 1% (2013)
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Dance teacher(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Security personnel
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
German
Italian
Korean
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Trachtenberg & Gates Millenium Scholarship winners (2012)
  • 1st & 2nd Pl awards in the DC-CAPital Stars Talent Competion (2013)
  • Mayor's Awards for excellence in Arts Teaching (2012)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Recycling club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Opera
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Marching band
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
Clubs
  • SADD

Gifted & talented

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

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30
School end time
  • 4:55
School Leader's name
  • Rory Pullens
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Extended/longer school day
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (202) 337-7847

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

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

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
  • Writing
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • 31 (Wisconsin Avenue Line), 32, 36 (Pennsylvania Avenue Line), D1, D3, D6 (Sibley Hospital-Stadium/Armory Line), D2 (Glover Park-Dupont Circle Line), D51 (Duke Ellington School of Arts Line)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Performance stage
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • None
Girls sports
  • None

Arts & music

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

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Community service
  • Girl Talk
  • Marching band
  • Men of Strength
  • National Honor Society
  • Recycling club
  • Roundtable
  • SADD
  • Student council/government
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
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School culture

Dress Code
  • 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
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer time after school
School mascot
  • Duke Ellington
More from this school
  • Ellington is known for its highly talented staff and its rigorous dual curriculum for arts and academics. That experience is greatly enriched by the school's active partnerships with the Kennedy Center, George Washington University, the Ellington Fund and DCPS. Finally, the Duke Ellington environment is welcoming, safe and supportive - a real jewel of urban education.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
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What are your chances?


2 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
160
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
690

Planning ahead

College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Students' post-graduation plans in 2013
2 year college - 4%
4 year college - 91%
Military - 1%
Vocational - 3%
Workforce - 1%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

3500 R St. NW
Washington, DC 20007
Website: Click here
Phone: (202) 282-0123

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