U.S. News: Decatur High School Ranks 13th Best in Metro Atlanta

Another ranking that everyone loves to hate.

This time it’s U.S. News and World Reports, which ranked Decatur High School 13th in the Atlanta Metro area (according to the AJC), 20th in the state and 536th nationally.   Here’s the U.S. News blurb…

Decatur High School is ranked 20th within Georgia. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Decatur High School is 75 percent. The student body makeup is 51 percent male and 49 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 46 percent. Decatur High School is the only high school in the Decatur City.

What were the metro area’s tippity top high schools?

Some familiar faces from years past here – DeKalb School for the Arts, Walton High School in Coob County and Fulton Science Academy High School rounded out the top 3.

Last year, Decatur ranked 406th nationally and 13th in Georgia.

And before you ask: U.S. News uses a four step process to rank high schools.  Here’s a quick summary, stripped from their website

  • Step 1: The first step determined whether each school’s students were performing better than statistically expected for students in that state.
  • Step 2: For schools passing the first step, Step 2 assessed whether their disadvantaged students – black, Hispanic and low-income – performed at or better than the state average for the least-advantaged students.
  • Step 3: For schools passing the first and second step, Step 3 required schools to meet or surpass a benchmark for their graduation rate. This is the second year U.S. News has included this step.
  • Step 4: Schools that made it through the first three steps became eligible to be judged nationally on the final step – college-readiness performance – using Advanced Placement test data as the benchmark for success. AP is a College Board program that offers college-level courses at high schools across the country.

Photo courtesy of Google Streetview

Decatur Idol Tonight at DHS Auditorium!

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Jeremy sends along the details…

Don’t miss “Decatur Idol”, Friday night at 7 pm in the DHS Performing Arts Center.  10 talented Decatur High and Renfroe students will perform a wide variety of musical genres and members of the audience will decide the winner with their votes.

This year’s esteemed judges include Robert Schneider, lead singer of The Apples In Stereo and co-founder of Elephant 6; singer / songwriters Jared and Amber Humphries; and journalist Bo Emerson of the AJC.

This event is a fundraiser for the DHS Band.  So come out to support the student performers and the band.  Tickets are $5 students, $10 adults and children under age 6 get in free.

Celebrate with Decatur’s State Champions This Wednesday

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decatur track

From the DHS Bulldog boosters…

CELEBRATE WITH OUR STATE CHAMPIONS
The entire Decatur community is invited to a Championship Rally celebrating the 2016 AAA State Championship earned by the Boys Soccer team and for State wins in Track & Fiel
Decatur Boys Soccer won their first State Title since 2003, beating East Hall 3-2 in the State Final in Macon on May 12th.  Track athlete, Sam Ellis won the State Title for the 800 and 1600 meter runs.
The Decatur Athletic Department, CSD Administration, Decatur High Administration, Decatur Bulldog Boosters, Decatur High PTSA, and the City of Decatur invite Decatur sport fans, families and youth to celebrate the achievement and hard work of our Decatur athletes who have achieved at the very highest level.
Rally Date: Wednesday 5/18
Rally Time:  3:00 to 3:30 pm (gates open at 2:45 pm)
Location:  Decatur High School Stadium*
(*In case of rain, an announcement will be sent regarding moving the event to the DHS Gym.)
Meet and Greet to Follow:
Immediately following the event until 4:00 pm on the DHS Stadium Plaza
During the rally, you will meet the athletes and hear from coaches and players about their championship season.  Then stick around after the program ends for an opportunity to meet and greet the players and coaches at a short reception on the DHS Stadium Plaza, sponsored by the City of Decatur, the Decatur Athletic Department and the Decatur High PTSA.
Note: The time and location of this event will allow every DHS student to attend this Championship Rally (they will be dismissed from their last period of the day to attend the rally).
Photos courtesy of Tom Williams (soccer) and Jon Ellis (track)

U.S. News: Decatur High School Ranks #403 in Nation, #13 in Georgia

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U.S. News and World Report has released its yearly rankings of public high schools based on data from the 2013-14 school year.

Decatur High School ranked #403 nationally and #13 in the state of Georgia, based on U.S. News’ methodology. DHS received a Gold rating from U.S. News with this summary description…

Decatur High School is ranked 13th within Georgia. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Decatur High School is 78 percent. The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 45 percent. Decatur High School is the only high school in the Decatur City.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology in Lawrenceville ranked #1 in Georgia, followed by Columbus High School in Columbus, GA and DeKalb School of the Arts rounded out the top 3 GA High Schools.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Community Reacts To Termination of Longtime Decatur High Media Clerk

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If you’ve scrolled through FFAF this week, you’re probably now well aware of the wellspring of concern that’s bubbled up online around Decatur over the termination of DHS Media Clerk Susan Riley on Friday.

Decaturish summed up the story HERE, nothing that “The decision angered many people, including DHS students, graduates and parents of current and past students. Decaturish received numerous emails on Friday evening stating that Riley was beloved by her students and had served with an impeccable record.”

Decaturish also noted Ms. Riley received a Decatur Hometown Hero award in 2011 and that “Several people familiar with her situation said that Riley…is in the dark about why she was let go.”  In a letter sent to members of the DHS community, and forwarded to Decaturish, Superintendent David Dude defended his decision to let Ms. Riley go, stating…

I wish we could all have an open and honest discussion about the situation, and am confident you would come to the same end result as I did, but unfortunately that is not possible…It’s unfortunate that I’ve had to make such a decision so early in my time here, but we must play the hands we’re dealt. I could have made the easy decision, but I instead made the right decision. I believe that even in my short time here I have shown that I am a person of honesty and integrity. You and others will judge me as you see fit, based on the incomplete information available to you, and I accept that, as imperfect as it is.

Community members have scheduled a rally across the street from Decatur High School on North McDonough for this Monday from 7:30a-9a in support of Ms. Riley.

CSD Answering Your Decatur High School Plumbing Questions

CSD logoCSD sent out this note this afternoon with answers to many of your potential Decatur High School plumbing questions…

Good afternoon,
We have received several questions and comments following yesterday’s communications about the plumbing issue at DHS and associated response. The following information is intended to help answer those questions and clear up some confusion. Thank you to all who provided feedback, allowing us to improve future actions in such situations.
What exactly was the plumbing issue?
We are still working to determine exactly what happened and how, but our current understanding is the following:
We believe a pipe in the construction area behind the high school was disrupted in some way, causing water to infiltrate the lower level of the school in and around the band room. After several hours of this, the drains could not keep up with the influx and the school’s drainage system began to backup into the building. Staff and contractors continue to investigate to determine exactly what happened.
Why was school dismissed early Thursday and cancelled Friday?
When the system began to backup, it introduced the possibility that raw sewage could be introduced into the building. Additionally, we could not yet determine if there was any impact on the fresh water coming into the building. Therefore, students were dismissed early to ensure they would not be exposed to contaminated water.
What will students do about final exams and final projects?
Teachers will work with students to ensure there is time following the break to complete and/or take final exams and projects.
Why did the Frasier Center remain open?
The Career/Tech wing is on a different plumbing system so the Frasier Center could remain in operation. Out of an abundance of caution, we transitioned to using bottled water in the Center until we can determine the full scope of the situation.
Why did staff remain Thursday and Friday?
Alternative arrangements were made for staff so they could work from the school or the Central Office, could use the facilities in the Career/Tech area, and could have bottled water for drinking.
Why didn’t I receive a phone call about Friday’s school cancellation?
The district’s mass calling system failed to call approximately 300 families about the Friday school cancellation. We are working with the vendor to identify why that occurred. When this fault was identified Friday morning, the district sent another phone call to all DHS families reminding them of the school closure. Also, some families have changed phone numbers but not updated their information in Infinite Campus. Please make sure to update your contact information in the parent portal anytime your information changes.

Decatur Graduation Rate Hits All-Time High

rp_City_Schools_of_Decatur_Logo.jpgPretty awesome news from CSD…

With a rate of 97.1%, City Schools of Decatur is tied for the 3rd highest 4-year cohort graduation rate out of all districts in the state for 2015.
These results reflect the work of the entire district. Our commitment to providing differentiated instruction for all students, the Decatur High School Learning Center, and providing all junior and senior families with counseling sessions has provided our students with the individualized support necessary for high school success.
 
 
Graduation Rates
DHS
State
2011 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate
89.39%
67.47%
2012 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate
91.41%
69.7%
2013 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate
93.90%
71.5%
2014 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate
90.4%
72.5%
2015 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate
97.1%
78.8%
According to the Department of Education, “the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate defines the cohort based on when a student first becomes a freshman; it is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and includes adjustments for student transfers.”
District Ranking
2015 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate
Chickamauga City
97.3%
Union County
97.3%
Hancock County
97.2%
Decatur City
97.1%
Bremen City
97.1%
Trion City
97.1%