Ballou High School
|Ballou High School|
3401 Fourth Street Southeast
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||District of Columbia Public Schools Ward 8|
|Principal||Dr. Willie Jackson|
|Faculty||88.0 (on an FTE basis)|
|Grades||9 to 12|
|Student to teacher ratio||13.20|
|Campus size||350,000 Sq ft|
|Color(s)||Blue and Gold|
Frank W. Ballou Senior High School is a public school located in Washington, D.C., United States. Ballou is a part of the District of Columbia Public Schools. The principal is Dr. Willie Jackson (an Alumni from the class of 1987). The marching band traveled to the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California and the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Ballou High School was founded in the early 1960s to serve residents in the southern part of Anacostia, including Congress Heights, Washington Highlands, and Bellevue. The school was named for Dr. Frank Washington Ballou, superintendent of the DC public schools from 1920 to 1943. Ballou SHS is known for having one of the best choirs and bands in the District. The Ballou SHS band has traveled to California and Alabama and placed in the top three in both national competitions. The Ballou SHS band is directed by Mr. Darrell Watson. and his all volunteer Ballou alumni staff. The Ballou choir directed by Gary Stanley has been one of the more positive aspects of the school. They have traveled and performed in various states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida just to name a few. The choir and the band have also affected the type of media the school has gotten in the last couple of years. They have brought a more positive outlook on the school and the students who attend. In addition to an outstanding band and choir, Ballou is known as one of the best athletic programs in the area. Ballou over the years has produced several DCIAA City Champions and many NCAA Scholarship Athletes.
The previous principal Dr Art Bridges is the Uncle of Rapper/Actor Chris (Ludacris) Bridges. Ludacris has visited Ballou several times to give motivation speeches to the youth.
In 1998, author Ron Suskind published the book "A Hope in the Unseen" about a Ballou High School student named Cedric Jennings. The book was based on a series of Pulitzer-prize winning articles written in the Wall Street Journal by Suskind. The story follows Jennings efforts to attend an Ivy League University in spite of his troubled upbringing.
On February 2, 2004, 19-year-old Thomas J. Boykin fatally shot 17-year-old James Richardson. Boykin was later acquitted on the charge of murder.
NBC4 News reported another shooting on August 26, 2008 of a 16-year-old just off the campus grounds resulting in a lock-down of the campus.
From August 2016 to May 2017 about 25% of the staff left the school; this occurred as almost 200 DCPS teachers left their jobs.
Attendance zones and feeder patterns
The following elementary schools feed into Ballou: Garfield, Hendley, M. L. King, Leckie, Malcolm X, Patterson, Simon, and Turner.
The following middle schools feed into Ballou: Charles Hart Middle School and John Hayden Johnson Middle School.
- 98.0% African American students
- 2.0% European American students
- 82 teachers
- 85.2% attendance
- 14:1 student teacher ratio
- 916 total students
In 2016 3% of the students had proficiency in DC reading standards according to DC tests.
In 2017, all 189 students in Ballou High School's senior class applied to college. It was the first time the high school's entire senior class had applied to college. The high school credited its college-prep classes and a school-wide campaign to apply to college. As of the summer of 2017 all 170 members of the graduating class of 2017 were accepted to universities; an additional 20 students had August graduations scheduled. In November 2017, it came to light that Ballou's administration had graduated dozens of students despite high rates of unexcused absences. Half of the graduates missed more than three months of school in their senior year, unexcused; one in five students were absent more than they were present, and when many of these students did attend school they struggled academically. Two months before graduation, only 57 students were on track to graduate. Brian Butcher, a history teacher at Ballou, said the claim of all students graduating was "smoke and mirrors. That is what it was."
School of Mathematics, Science and Technology
In September 1975, Ballou SHS opened their School of Mathematics, Science and Technology. At that time, the program was considered one of the most sophisticated curricula in the city. One intention was to develop within Ballou a "Magnet" High School of Science and Mathematics to emphasize:
- The preparation of students for entrance into Colleges and Universities
- The provision of prerequisite skills for students who planned on technical training or employment immediately after high school.
- Marvin Austin (2007), college football defensive tackle at UNC Chapel Hill, taken by the New York Giants in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
- Larry Pinkard (2010), played college football for Old Dominion University, and in the National Football League for multiple teams since 2015.
- Danny Gatton, one of Rolling Stone magazine's top guitarists of all time, attended but did not graduate. Named album 88 Elmira Street after Congress Heights street where he grew up.
- Essex Hemphill (1975), poet and activist, known for his activism in the African American and LGBT communities.
- Mike Locksley (1987), in 2018 he was named head football coach of the University of Maryland, he was previously head football coach at the University of New Mexico and Offensive Coordinator of University of Alabama football program
- Trayon White (2002), community activist and former member of the District of Columbia State Board of Education and Ward 8 Representative on the Council of the District of Columbia.
- GNIS entry for Ballou Senior High School; USGS; December 6, 2011.
- National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 6, 2011.
- DCPS School Profile. Accessed June 1, 2017.
- HESS: Ballou Senior High School. Accessed September 19, 2018.
- Rose Parade Participants Archived December 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "Teen Acquitted Of Murder in Ballou Shooting," The Washington Post
- "Ballou". Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Ramirez, Stephanie (2017). "Entire class accepted into college, Ballou HS makes history". WUSA. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- Home. Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. Retrieved on September 2, 2018. "Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling 20 MacDill Blvd. Washington, D.C. 20032-7711"
- "High School Boundary Map Archived 2017-01-31 at the Wayback Machine" (2016-2017 School Year). District of Columbia Public Schools. Retrieved on September 2, 2018.
- Ford, Sam. "Entire senior class at D.C.'s Ballou High School applies to college for first time". WJLA. March 6, 2017.
- McGee, Kate (2017-11-28). "What Really Happened At Ballou, The D.C. High School Where Every Senior Got Into College". WAMU. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
- Ephemera from Ballou SHS vertical file in the collection at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives in Washington, D.C.
- Duberman, Martin (2014). Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS. The New Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-59558-945-3.
- Wright, James (February 24, 2016). "'Barry High , was former' Elicits Strong Community Reaction". The Afro-American. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- "Councilmember Trayon White, Sr". dccouncil.us. Retrieved 2017-06-01.