William L. Dickinson High School

2 Palisade Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 714-4400

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 & ungraded 2389 students 12 students/teacher (NJ avg is 12)

Test Scores by grade


High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA)

In 2013-2014 New Jersey used the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) to test students in grade 11 in language arts literacy and math. The HSPA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New Jersey. Students are required to pass the HSPA in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.
  • This school in 2014
  • Jersey City School District average
  • New Jersey state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards


New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT)

In 2013-2014 New Jersey used the New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT) to assess students in Biology. The New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT) is standards-based, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined by the state of New Jersey. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level on the test.
  • This school in 2014
  • Jersey City School District average
  • New Jersey state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

William L. Dickinson High School is a public high school in Jersey City. The principal of William L. Dickinson High School is Ms Arlene Farrell, who can be contacted at afarrell@jcboe.org. 2,389 children attend William L. Dickinson High School and are mostly Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Asian. 12% of the William L. Dickinson High School students are "limited in English proficiency." 69% of the 2,389 students here are paying reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at William L. Dickinson High School is 12:1. Dr Ronald Mc Nair Academy High School is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • French
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Spanish


  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Hispanic 45% 38%
Asian/Pacific Islander 22% 17%
Asian 22% %
Black, non-Hispanic 17% 34%
White, non-Hispanic 14% 11%
Native American or Native Alaskan 1% 1%
Pacific Islander 1% 0.7%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1% 1%
Multiracial 0% 0%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 69% 77%
Limited English proficiency 12% 9%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (12 months ago)

    This school is horrible Im an honor student and I am faced with this difficult challenge everyday with kids that don't care. These kids have no morals or respect for others and let alone themselves. Every minute of everyday someone is cursing the teacher and the lesson isn't fisnished but the security somehow ends up with kids to take down to the office. Never send your child here this school needs to shut down and separate everyone because that's what needs to be done

  • (1 year ago)

    I have to rate this school "above average". I have taught at this school several times as a substitute teacher. I genuinely believe it is on the up and up. I have also taught at Mcnair Snyder Renaissance Institute Lincoln and Ferris. The kids here are nice the teachers are competent and the overall atmosphere is safe. I always look forward to days I get to work at DHS.

  • (1 year ago)

    I was saddened when I read the stories about the High School. As a former teacher at another inner city high school I fully understand the problems staff and students are facing. It is almost to the point that we should consider taking the students who really want to learn and put them all into a separate school rater than creating alternate school for disruptive students. My prayers are with all staff and students.

  • (1 year ago)

    Dickinson High School is not a good school. There is lock-down almost every day non stop violence. The principles and the administration is down right horrible. The only upsides are the teachers and the diversity. I was lucky enough to have the good teachers because I was in a magnet. If you have to send your child to this school make sure you get him into AP classes because that is the only way he will be prepared for college if you send him here.

  • (2 years ago)

    I graduated from DHS in 1966 and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The teachers with few exceptions were uniformly excellent and DHS sent many students on to college. Problems yes many but it you really want an education this was the place. It hurts to see DHS experiencing problems but I'm sure they will be overcome.

  • (4 years ago)

    DHS is an amazing school. There's nothing that you can't accomplish here. The size and population of the school is spectacular! The structure for education is clearly outlined in the schools mission statement. The teachers are genuinely caring and concerned for the student s future. Anyone that says otherwise is obviously not doing their part. If the state scores are low it s because they calculate the students from other countries that don't speak read or understand English within these test. (Very unfair) Keep your nose clean do your work and you'll succeed. DHS has won many science awards and has beaten McNair County Prep and high tech. It has won nationwide and also beat Bergen County. Do your research because DHS is awesome!

  • (4 years ago)

    Dickinson highschool is a great high school and dont let anyone say otherwise trust me im talking from experience. yes I admit the school has its ups and downs but I have to say I have had one of the best 2 years in my life so far in dhs. its alot of fun the teachers are great now dont get me wrong there are teachers in there who are doing the job just to get their paid check but mostly the teachers are great I hav had the most amazing and helpful teachers and i will never forget them. i have just recently moved away from jersey city to piscataway nj and i hav to say the thing i miss the most is dhs if you think dhs is horrible boy your wrong you have no idea its the most incompitent staff iv ever seen the teachers are horrible not helpful at all there are very few that are good and the school itself isnt good at all its dispicable. for those who are coming into dhs appreciate it and enjoy every moment and for those of you that are still in dhs stop complaining.

  • (4 years ago)

    I am currently a student at DHS. I take AP classes and many Honors classes. To say I have a high GPA compared to those in regular classes is a shame. I am embarrassed to say that I am attend DHS. Some teachers curse aloud and have no respect for the administration not that they deserve any. The administration including principals vice principle CITs guidance counselors and even security guards are full of flaws. As a junior struggling to get a better education I still have no idea how DHS is still running. A word to the wise try getting into Country Prep High Tech or McNair; it's not worth spending four years here..

  • (4 years ago)

    Dickinson High School is a wonderful high school. I graduated in 1987 and now my child attends and will be graduating in 2013. The teachers are great. As a parent you tell the teachers what you expect of your child and let them know your child's weakness. Always ask for interim reports and always attend Open House to discuss your child's grades. Show involvement in your child's life and the teachers will do the same. Make sure your child participates in afterschool activities and clubs. They will make great friends who are interested in the same thing they are. I have no regrets about Dickinson. I only wish they would have the kids tests grades attendance homework assignments etc. accessible for the parents through a computer system in which we can access daily. This way we as parents can keep track of our child's progress and make sure ALL of their homework is completed.

  • (4 years ago)

    I am a current senior in this school. I love it. It may be dirty and we may have any fights and issues but I love it. The teachers are decent and the extra curricular clubs and activities are great. Don't blame the school and teachers for how the students act. The students make the school look bad. Despite what people may believe not every student that attends Dickinson is an animal. Half of us are non violent and only want to get an education. Most of the teachers are helpful and know what they are doing. The classes are interesting and the past of the school is interesting. I never once regretted attending William L. Dickinson high school. I have made many great friends and I have learned so much. I have even met my boyfriend of three years their and now we are engaged to be married soon. I LOVE DICKINSON HIGH SCHOOL!!!!

  • (4 years ago)

    I am a currently a student in Dickinson High School. I've been here 3 years and not attending my senior year. I absolutely love Dickinson therefore disagree with the reviews of Dickinson being "horrible". We make it what we want it to be. Many students get lazy and try to get away with inappropriate behavior and others follow. I have learned with many other students to focus on the school work and still have fun with friends. There are plenty of good teachers in this school i wouldn't be able to name all. Briefly my top picks are Mr.Bryne Mr.Murphy Mr.Maldonado Mr.Lawrence Mr.Stellato Mrs.Lauren Mrs. Barker Mrs. Ropas and many more. Although the guidance department is not as good as it should. The security department is very good as well. Dickinson has a bad reputation due to its past issues many gang fights but most of that is all over. Securities have taken care of the issue and Dickinson is in a very safe situation and im proud of it.

  • (5 years ago)

    I am a former student and i must agree with another post. The school is what you make of it. I walked in with hopes and many goals and walked out confident and accomplished with many lessons. When someone has the desire to succeed it will get done. my experience at DHS will always remain and thank all the teachers and amazing people i met there. i had my share of unpleasant moments but they will never compare to my sports T&T and academics achievements i got.

  • (5 years ago)

    This school is the best school ever! I have made many friends and the teachers are great here! Forget about Mcnair and County Prep DHS GO HARD! Im a freshman class of 2013 right now and i love coming to school! )

  • (5 years ago)

    I am a former student at William L. Dickinson High School and i attend as a freshman of class of 2013. Even though we've beei in school for only two marking periods i have to say that this school really gives me an education. There are some teachers that teach very hard and that's because they think that you should be prepared for college even though you are a freshman and have 4 years. My Algebra teacher Mrs.DiMonte is very difficult and thats good because at least i will be prepared to College. My favorite subject would have to be US History I tought by Mr. Glatz because he may be easy but you will alot. He understands that not every student likes to stay in books and read and work on their own. Mr.Glatz will help you understand what you're reading and he will let you have a little fun.

  • (6 years ago)

    Im a current bstudent at dickinson high school .Dickinson is an ok school but it aint great there are some teachers that care then you have those that just come for a paycheck .Tha adminstratn is horrible .The kids are off the chain at times . Its not what it use 2 e sorry to those who think otherwise but its true dickinson is getting ot of control

  • (6 years ago)

    I am a former Student from DHS and all opportunities are what you make of them. This school in comparison to most schools in this area is 1 of thee best by far there are so many programs that Anyone students or adults can get involved. As far as the age of the school yes its over 100 years old but with that is what builds the schools character. People go there for the education not because the school has brand new lockers. Let me remind you that DHS Science Magnet is thee only High School in northern New Jersey that even offers such a program to help advance students to the level where you would start as a sophomore in college. Those who don't take advantage of it is a choice of the student because it is offered to everyone.

  • (6 years ago)

    Dickinson has many great teachers that care about the students because i would never change my teachers for anything in the world i do believe that the troubled students are the ones that give the high school that bitter taste in a parents mouth. I for one believe that when a childs set his or her goals to be succesful in life and with there education they will achieve their goals no matter what. I am currently a freshman and In my lower grades i was known as the trouble maker and i thought that by me going there i would be getting my self into trouble. But my teachers are the best. Mr.Lawrence my us history teacher is the greatest person in my eyes. Mrs. Snow ; the best english teacher i have had and Ms.Cerchio ; shes just wonderful.

  • (7 years ago)

    DHS has some of the best teachers I have ever seen. Not only are they supportive but they understand that each student is their own person. I am a former student at DHS and I would not be the person I am today if it wasn't for this school. The relationships built there were everlasting. The school itself is considered a mini United Nations because of its diversity in students. You can't get this kind of education anywhere else. The one thing that needs to be said about the school is this; if you the student goes looking for trouble then trouble will follow you and make your experience in DHS hell because you made it that way. On the other hand if you go do what you need to do make friends and join any of the numerous co-curricular activites offered at the school then your experience will be priceless.

  • (7 years ago)

    i am a senior attending DHS and will be graduating this year. In my four years in DHS i dont regret attending this school. The teachers are wonderful and the magnet programs/AP and Honors classes are good as well. I am in the science research magnet and I had many memorable moments like our most famous celebration called Multicultural Day. Although it is very crowded and there is some misbehaving students in this school you can never be bored because everyday there is always something new to do.

  • (7 years ago)

    actually i enjoy attending DHS. i know it's nasty and whatnot but i'm in the science research magnet and it's great. the main problems are some of the students and the amount of trouble they cause and the environment. the school is really old. and there are too many people in the school. they should have a separate building for magnet/academic students.

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Overall score

(based on 56 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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