Dunbar High School

101 N St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 698-3762

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 650 students 14 students/teacher (DC avg is 14)

Test Scores by grade


District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS)

In 2013-2014 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. Currently GreatSchools is displaying results for reading and math only. 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.
  • This school in 2014
  • District of Columbia Public Schools average
  • Washington, DC state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Dunbar High School is a public high school in Washington. The principal of Dunbar High School is Stephen Jackson, who can be contacted at stephen.jackson@dc.gov. 650 children attend Dunbar High School and identify mostly as Black, non-Hispanic; Hispanic; and Asian. 3% of the Dunbar High School students are "limited in English proficiency." 68% of the 650 students here are paying reduced lunch prices. The ratio of students to teachers at Dunbar High School is 14:1. Emery L Fears Boys Academy is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Computer arts
  • Drawing painting
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • Spanish


  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Softball
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Black, non-Hispanic 97% 75%
Hispanic 2% 13%
Asian 0.3% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 0.2% 2%
White, non-Hispanic 0.1% 9%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0% 0.07%
Multiracial 0% %
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 68% 53%
Limited English proficiency 3% 9%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (1 year ago)

    Terrific staff and students! Enroll your children soon! This school is near Capitol Hill and H Street!

  • (2 years ago)

    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.

  • (2 years ago)

    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.

  • (3 years ago)

    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.

  • (4 years ago)

    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.

  • (6 years ago)

    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.

  • (7 years ago)

    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

  • (7 years ago)

    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.

  • (7 years ago)

    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.

  • (11 years ago)

    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.

  • (11 years ago)

    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.

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Overall score

(based on 20 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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