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GreatSchools Rating

Dunbar High School

Public | 9-12 | 650 students

The first African American public HS in the US with a history of excellence
 
 

 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

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

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10 reviews of this school


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Posted October 21, 2013

I'm a graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar Sr. High, I,graduated in 1981, when I was a student the parents & community were always deeply involved in the day to day functions, educational matter & the overall educational growth of the students attending, I feel that parents these days enroll their children into a school and don't follow up on what's going on with their children until reportcard time. Most of these children are raising themselves, some can't wait to get to school because of negative things occuring in the home. Back when I was attending the school, teacher, cousaelors & administrative staff all had a had in making sure we were well informed and were had all the tools neccessary to succeed. The department of education has a slogan NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, well we all no that's not true most of the youth are more interested in getting paid that that the closest they come to any school is when they walk pass it, or see it out of the back window of a police vehicle, yeah its sad, but its true.


Posted October 21, 2013

As a community member I am really loving the new building. even though I am not originally from the area, I feel that this high school give the community an uplift. Great Job DCPS.


Posted January 2, 2012

Well this is the real deal of Dunbar SHS in Washington dc. Now Dunbar is a really creative and outstanding school also if an parent has a son and would love for them to play sports Dunbar has really good sports also for girls cheerleader,so it would help the children do there work because while on the teams u have to have good grades. How ever this school has changed since I was there I graduated in 2009 prom was also good. It's a well educated and fun to go to. This school makes you continue and finish.also the teachers push yo or your child to walk a cross the stage. Dunbar is a wonderful pick to attend to.


Posted November 25, 2011

For an inner city school, especially DCPS, Dunbar high offers highly qualified teachers and a great administration. The students are, on balance, an inquisitive group that strives for success. After a rough few years in recent news attracting negative attention, Dunbar is on its way to become a highlight in DCPS. In 2013, a new edifice willp open its doors. It will be the first of its kind. You have heard of LEED certified green schools, well this will be of platinum staus in the green category. There will be an arts and humanities academy, a STEM academy, and one of the only education academies in the country.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted June 17, 2009

Dunbar has potential to be a good school. Despite popular belief, most the students are eager and ready to learn, and most the teachers are amazing. Yes, there are a few students who are impossible to control, and yes there are a handful of teachers who need to be let go. But I reiterate . . . Dunbar could be a great school. Next year an outside company will take over, they have a heavy load on their plate. The first thing they need to bite into is the Infrastructure. The infrastructure alone is why I would never recommend this school to anyone. Parents need to know there are no walls. Other obstacles in Dunbar's way are fixable, so long as the company taking over listens to the teachers, parents, and students who are invested in the school.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted November 14, 2008

Now that the school has new teacher and under new mangement I think the school is going just great. It wasn't just the student out control the teacher were too! So give a little to get a little. Keep up the good work new staff
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 8, 2008

I attended and graduated form Dunbar in 2004 and I found the school to be quite exceptional. The curriculum was outstanding and the school has a variety of opportunities to offer teens. I agree with the other alumni where he stated'only the strong and smart will survive'. While I attended, security, teachers, and staff showed the love they had for each student individually. Entering, I was considered what you reviewers would call an 'out of control teen' but leaving I was a educated, young, black, teen parent with a vision of what I wanted in the future.
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 3, 2008

Horrible school. Like most DC public schools, it is full of out-of-control teens, bad teachers, and a failing infrastructure. I don't understand how the nation's capital can have such a bad educational system.


Posted October 16, 2004

I attended and grduated from Dunbar in 2001. I also agree that the school may not be the best academically, but it really helps you find yourself. It teaches how to deal with peer pressure, who you are and how to make wise decisions. You have to find a place for yourself at Dunbar. You are an adult there as opposed to some of the other high schools where you are sheltered and pamperd. Its a real inner city high school and only the strong and wise will survive.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted January 12, 2004

Although the school has Security Officers present there is still a lack of control with the entry process. This can be fixed by adding another guard. This is an excellent school with excellent environment for young adults to develope a sense of themselves and prepare them for the future.
—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.
Math

The state average for Math was 45% in 2013.

113 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
17%

2012

 
 
20%

2011

 
 
18%

2010

 
 
24%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 45% in 2013.

112 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
18%

2012

 
 
28%

2011

 
 
26%

2010

 
 
32%
Science

68 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
18%
Writing

110 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
33%
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.

149 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
21%

2010

 
 
24%
Math

The state average for Math was 52% in 2011.

174 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
18%

2010

 
 
24%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 48% in 2011.

178 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
26%

2010

 
 
32%
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

Math

All Students17%
Black, non-Hispanic17%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanicn/a
Economically disadvantaged17%
Disabled6%
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Reading

All Students18%
Black, non-Hispanic18%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanicn/a
Economically disadvantaged18%
Disabled9%
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Science

All Students18%

Writing

All Students33%
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 "Priority".

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.

 
Below 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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10

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
This school
City
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
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
This school
City
1
2
3
4
5
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10

ACT/SAT participation

77%

ACT/SAT college ready

7%

Graduation rate

59%


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 97% 1%
Two or more races N/A 57%
White N/A 1%
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 68%N/AN/A
Special education 23%N/A13%
English learners 3%N/A7%
Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2011-2012

Attendance

  This school District averageState average
All Students 77%N/AN/A
Asian/Pacific Islander 88%N/AN/A
Black, not Hispanic 77%N/AN/A
Hispanic 84%N/AN/A
White, not Hispanic 44%N/AN/A
Economically disadvantaged 77%N/AN/A
Students with disabilities 75%N/AN/A
Limited English proficient 92%N/AN/A
Source: DCPS, 2009-2010

Graduation rate

  This school District averageState average
All Students 75%N/A75%
Female 75%N/A77%
Male 68%N/A71%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 100%N/A83%
Asian/Pacific Islander 50%N/A79%
Black, not Hispanic 72%N/A77%
Hispanic 67%N/A62%
Economically disadvantaged 100%N/A96%
Not economically disadvantaged 50%N/A58%
Students with disabilities 100%N/A94%
General-Education students 69%N/A73%
Source: DCPS, 2009-2010

College readiness and student pathways

Students typically attend these schools prior to attending this school Shaw Middle School
Walker Jones Middle School
Jefferson Middle School
Percentage of students going to 2-year college 20% (2013)
Percentage of students going to 4-year college 50% (2013)
Percentage of students going to the military 5% (2013)
Percentage of students going to vocational programs 10% (2013)
Percentage of students going directly into the workforce 15% (2013)
Colleges most students attend after graduation Virginia State University
Bennett College
Bowie 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)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Security personnel
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff American sign language
Chinese (Mandarin)
French
German
Japanese
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Special education
Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Cognitive disability
  • Emotional behavioral disabilities
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Clubs
  • Special olympics

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Industrial shop
  • Science lab
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • Computer programming
  • Engineering
  • IT support
Clubs
  • Robotics club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Anime club
  • Dance club
  • Drill team
  • Drum line
  • Flag girls
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Student newspaper
  • Television/Radio News
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • 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
  • American sign language
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Swimming pool
Clubs
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)
  • 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 prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Partnership with UNCF
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Clubs
  • Debate
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 4:15 pm
School Leader's name
  • Stephen Jackson
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
  • dunbarhighschoolptsa@gmail.com
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • Infant
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Block scheduling
  • Extended/longer school day
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (202) 673-2223

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

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

Don't understand these terms?
  • Special education
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
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Cognitive disability
  • Emotional behavioral disabilities
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • Business management
  • Computer programming
  • Engineering
  • IT support
  • Pre-law

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)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • American sign language
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
  • Twilight Acadmey
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Partnership with UNCF
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • Transportation provided for special education students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Industrial shop
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Parent center
  • Performance stage
  • Science lab
  • Swimming pool
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Links, Inc
  • Georgetown Law Center
  • Verizon Tutoring Bus Program
  • Urban Alliance
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Flag football
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Flag football
  • Golf
  • Skiing
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Anime club
  • Chess club
  • Dance club
  • Debate
  • Drill team
  • Drum line
  • Flag girls
  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
  • Gentleman of Dunbar
  • JROTC
  • Ladies of Dunbar
  • Lesbian, gay, transgender club
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)
  • Mock trial competition club
  • National Honor Society
  • Robotics club
  • 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
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Tutor
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School colors
  • Crimson and Black
School mascot
  • Crimson Tide
More from this school
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar High School implements iTech 360. An innovative instructional technology program that focuses on project-based learning and college readiness skills. Dunbar has partnered with college summit to assist with the educational initiative and engage students in practical applications and hands-on experiences. iTech 360 program extends the school day by 90 minutes and all 9th and 10th grade academy students receive kindle fires for instruction.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


8 out of 10students were accepted for the 2013-2014 school year.


Students accepted for the 2013-2014 school year
650
Applications received for the 2013-2014 school year
800
Students typically come from these schools
Shaw Middle School
Walker Jones Middle School
Jefferson Middle School

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Virginia State University
Bennett College
Bowie State University
College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
SAT/ACT prep classes
School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Partnership with UNCF
Students' post-graduation plans in 2013
2 year college - 20%
4 year college - 50%
Military - 5%
Vocational - 10%
Workforce - 15%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

101 N St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
Website: Click here
Phone: (202) 698-3762

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