Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gold Award for Student Achievement

Congratulations to the students and staff of Decatur High School!  DHS earned a Gold Award for Highest Performance from the Governor's Office of Student Achievement.

For immediate release                                                                                                     Office of Communications
Jan. 17, 2012                                                                                                                         (404) 651-7774
370 schools awarded for outstanding results
Governor’s Office of Student Achievement recognizes improvements on state test scores
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that 370 Georgia public schools are being recognized for improvement and achievement during the 2010-2011 school year. The schools are being recognized under Georgia's Single Statewide Accountability System (SSAS), developed by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, to award schools based on their performance on state curriculum exams and Adequate Yearly Progress status.
"Congratulations to these 370 schools for their commitment to hard work and high academic standards," said Deal. "The principals and teachers at these schools are to be commended for maintaining a focus on providing every student with a world-class education."
The awards are being announced as part of the release of the 2010-2011 K-12 Public Schools Report Card. The Report Card, which features the SSAS awards, was developed by GOSA and provides bottom-line data for Georgia’s preschools, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, technical colleges, and educator licensing and accreditation. It includes school, system and state level reports organized into seven major sections: Accountability, Georgia Tests, National Tests, Indicators, Student and  School Demographics, Personnel, and Comparisons.
“I am pleased to recognize these schools for their continued focus on student achievement," said Bonnie Holliday, Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Student Achievement. "Congratulations to the students at these schools for their accomplishments and to the staff  for their ongoing commitment to learning."
The schools are awarded on four levels -- Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze -- in two categories:
Greatest gains: 111 schools are being recognized for demonstrating significant improvement on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) or the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT).
Highest performance: 259 schools are being recognized for high achievement on the CRCT or GHSGT.
The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement provides accountability for all of Georgia’s education system from pre-kindergarten to post secondary to drive improvement in student achievement and school completion through meaningful, transparent and objective analysis and communication of statewide data. To learn more about GOSA, please
To access a complete list of 2010-2011 SSAS award winners, visit  
Brian Robinson
Stephanie Mayfield
(404) 516-5376

Discussion with students

Decatur High School Families,

Twice in the past week we have found students to be in possession of a weapon on school campus. In both cases it was a knife. Though I don’t believe there was an imminent threat in either situation, the consequences are difficult to digest. According to our Code of Conduct, this violation constitutes a Level III disciplinary action; the consequences may result in long term suspension (i.e., a suspension for more than ten days), alternative school, or expulsion. As you know, weapons on school campus also carry criminal penalties, often considered a felony offense.

In my experience, parents are generally aware that their son/daughter has a knife (boy scouts, hiking, etc.), and I know students are aware that they should not be at school. Please have conversations at home about the consequences of having weapons on school campus. The laws are very strict, designed to maintain safety on school campus. We do not have the luxury of dismissing weapons cases, and it is nearly impossible to determine intent.

Going to a disciplinary hearing of this weight is one of my least favorite responsibilities as a school leader. However, when faced with the issue, it is what must happen. I write this to appeal to you as a school community to discuss this issue with your children. My hope is that doing so will not only ensure the safety of our school, but will also help ensure our young people are aware of the weight of such a mistake.

Many thanks for your support,

Lauri McKain

Friday, December 9, 2011

Support during tragedies

As many of you have heard already, yesterday we lost two former Decatur High School students in unrelated tragedies. Here is an article describing what happened:

The school community members have been supportive of each other in this challenging time. The faculty and staff have been available to students and have had many conversations and times of quietly being with students. DHS counselors have been visible and available to students and faculty throughout the day, and were offered additional support if needed from City Schools of Decatur Central Office personnel. As students have needed, they have gathered in the media center, in offices, or in semi-private places for conversations with each other and the adults in the school.

We have had wonderful offers from parents and the community for additional help should we need it and are most thankful for the offers.

At the onset of a tragedy, the counselors remind us of a few things.

· It is important to let children “have permission” to grieve. Rather than encouraging them to hold their feelings in or implying that crying is to be avoided, allowing expressions of their deep sadness is one of the most helpful things one can do. Children respond to tragedy in different ways and on different timelines; there is no one “right” way.

· Encourage taking care of themselves even if they do not feel like it. Stay healthy. Eating, sleeping, moving are important day to day steps when one is hurting.

· Make sure they have access to other people. Sometimes they may not feel like talking, other times they may want to talk and just have someone listen. At other times, they simply want to know that someone is nearby.

The counselors are available as a resource both from them and from outside supports.

Thank you all for your calls of support as our school community grieves these tragedies.

Lauri McKain

Decatur High School | Principal

310 N. McDonough St. | Decatur GA 30030

(404) 370-4420 x111 |

Thursday, December 1, 2011

DHS Needs your Feedback!

Decatur High School is looking for feedback on two items. One is the change in our schedule this year to begin the school day at 8am. Please take a moment to log in to the Parent Portal to take the online survey.

Also, a new School Improvement Plan has been developed. Please review it and send questions/feedback to the following email:


Thanks for your time and input!

Lauri McKain

Decatur High School | Principal

310 N. McDonough St. | Decatur GA 30030

(404) 370-4420 x111 |

Friday, November 18, 2011

Basketball Season Opener 11/18

Decatur High inducts two to Wall of Honor (from

Decatur High will add two athletes to its Wall of Honor at a 7 p.m. ceremony in the school’s arena. Clarence Scott and Larry Morris are only the sixth and seventh inductees to the Wall. Scott, a 1966 graduate of Trinity High was later an All-American at Kansas State before playing 13 years with the Cleveland Browns. Morris, a 1950 Decatur grad, was a four-time All-SEC performer at Georgia Tech before his 12 NFL seasons.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Homecoming Oct 21

Embrace your inner super hero and help the Decatur Bulldogs save the day against the Twiggs County Cobras in our homecoming Game on October 21st!

Students have been asked to show their school spirit by participating in the week's dress up days:
Monday we’ll recognize crime never sleeps in our pajamas.
Tuesday we’ll dominate our alter ego’s by bending the genders.
Wednesday we’ll grab our sidekick fighting crime with twin day.
Thursday will need all the real superheros to stand up
Friday we’ll fly to victory with Blue and Gold.

We have good reason for working hard over the past several years to ward off a student-created day during homecoming week called "class color day". Promoting class rivalry within the building is not the objective of homecoming and promotes a poor school climate. If your student dresses for school in all yellow, green, red or blue, it is likely they are participating in this day. Please check your students for markers or paint in these colors. To ensure a positive week, I really need your help in checking your students. Many underclassmen have been told to dress in their colors "or else". I can't have that at DHS and ask for your support and intervention at home.
If a student is found "tagging" a student with a color, the situation will be handled by disciplinary action.

Float Building
All chaperones: Float building ends at 8 p.m. on M, T, and W, 9 p.m. on Thursday. I have asked staff to stay until students have been picked up. PLEASE be sure you have a ride arranged at least 15 minutes before the end of floatbuilding so that we can all leave on time!
9th-Lower Lot (Culinary patio)
10th-Maintenance shed
11th-Frasier Center
12th-Scene Shop

Schedule of events for the weekend

Please note that the parade starts 2.5 hours after school lets out. Students will not be in supervised activities during this time, so please be sure you are aware of their where abouts.

Looking forward to a spirit-filled week!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Changes to outdoor practices due to heat

In light of the current heat index, Decatur High School and Renfroe Middle School are cancelling all outdoor practices between the hours of 12pm and 6pm. If your child participates in an athletic team, or band, the head coach will be in contact about adjusted practice schedules. This will be in place until further notice.