Danbury High School
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|Danbury High School|
View of athletic facilities, Danbury High School, Danbury CT
|43 Clapboard Ridge Road
|School district||Danbury School District|
|Number of students||approx. 4000|
|Color(s)||Blue and orange
Danbury High School is a public high school in Danbury, Connecticut, with approximately 4000 students. Despite Danbury's population of over 82,000 (as of 2012), there is only one public high school, along with several small private schools, and one vocational high school in the city. The school is located in a suburban, residential neighborhood atop a hill that overlooks most of the city.
Danbury High School is the largest high school in the state. Many of the students come from homes in which English is not the dominant spoken language. Therefore, the school offers a wide variety of ESL programs in many different subject areas. Walking through the halls of the school, it is possible to hear over 50 different languages and associated dialects being spoken by the students. Likewise, many of the students will be the first in their family to go on to college. The school's culture and classes are definitely enriched by the diverse student population and the experiences they bring to their education.
Danbury High School also offers a large number of AP courses in a wide variety of curricular areas. For example, in the Social Studies Department, AP courses are offered in Human Geography, Government and Politics, European History, Micro and Macro Economics, Psychology, and U.S. History.
Danbury High School is supplemented by a magnet program called the Alternative Center for Excellence. This program provides a Danbury High School diploma but exhibits additional criteria not required by most local institutions.
Danbury High School recently was awarded $100,000 after winning the State Farm Insurance "Celebrate My Drive" campaign. The "Celebrate My Drive" campaign encourages teens to make positive choices as they start driving.
In 1927, a new high school was built on 181 White Street in Danbury. This building served as the city's main high school, until a rapid increase in Danbury's population compelled a major school construction program. In 1965, a new Danbury High School was dedicated on Clapboard Ridge. This campus is still the current location of the school today.
In 2009, the cafeteria workers formed their own union after what is now known as the "Great Cheeseburger Brawl".
Academic Progress and School Improvement
Danbury High School is currently classified by the State of Connecticut Department of Education as a 'review school'. Review Schools are among Connecticut's lowest performing, irrespective of Title I status. All schools with CMT/ CAPT 2012 participation rates less than 95 percent, four‐year cohort graduation rates below 60 percent (for the graduating class of 2011), three‐year baseline School Performance Indexes (SPIs) below 64 or identification as Focus Schools were classified as Review Schools.
The School Data Team regularly reviews data on attendance, academic achievement, and discipline actions to guide student programming and professional development. Instructional Data Teams meet twice a month to review common assessment data and collaboratively plan lessons. In an effort to increase support for English-Language Learners, new programs are being offered to help students who arrive with little to no formal education. Twenty teachers participated in extensive training in Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol in preparation for mainstreaming English Language Learners into content area classes. Danbury High School recently partnered with Project Opening Doors and has seen tremendous increases in Advanced Placement participation and achievement. All Administrators participated in observation professional development. Teachers at the school are offered over 100 hours of professional development per year.
Beginning next fall, freshmen students entering Danbury High School will have an opportunity to earn an associate degree simultaneously with their high school diploma. As part of the Early College Opportunity program, 80 to 100 incoming freshmen students will begin their journey toward an associate degree in information technology issued by Naugatuck Valley Community College.
In 2014–2015, Danbury will field 62 teams in 25 different sports. The athletic program features 29 varsity, 22 junior varsity, and 11 freshmen teams. Fall sports include cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, football, soccer, swimming (girls) and volleyball (girls). Winter sports include basketball, cheerleading, ice hockey, indoor track, skiing, swimming (boys), and wrestling. Spring sports include baseball, golf, lacrosse, softball, tennis, track, and volleyball (boys).
Danbury High School has been a perennial powerhouse in its wrestling, men's and women's cross country, indoor and outdoor track programs.
Communication and Theatre Department
Danbury High School is known throughout the state for it's outstanding communication and theatre arts department. Cynthia Nejame, known to students and staff as "Niz", created and directed the DHS Productions MainStage shows, beginning their career with 42nd Street back in the 1980's. Niz would spend 27 years at DHS, starting as an Art teacher, then moving to the High School's English department, and finally landing herself in her own department, where she would create and design programs of her own known as, Speech Arts I/II and Honors Acting I/II. About 10 years into Niz's career at Danbury High, her protege, Michael Burnett would join the theatrical team as her assistant director and choreography. Niz and Burnett were an amazing team, intensifying DHS' shows in ways unseen before. With Burnett's theatre degrees and dance experience and Niz's years of experiences and passion for the arts, they inspired thousands of students who passed through DHS's academic programs. Niz's final show at DHS, "The Wiz", took place in March of 2015 and ended with many tears, for Niz had inspired so many students and staff within the Danbury school system. Her protege, Michael Burnett now not only directs the musical productions full time, but took over and expanded the communications/theatre department adding an Intro to Theatre class, allowing freshman to take part in a theatre class for the first time ever. Michael Burnett's years of experience and dedication to the arts and his students was shown in 2016's production of "In The Heights", where all 4,114 seats were filled and let the audience go with memories and themes that would be talked about for months and years to come. DHS is dedicated to the arts; a live pit band, intense theatrical performance, and dedicated student run tech crew makes DHS Productions legendary throughout the state of Connecticut.
Constructed in 2002, Danbury High School has a multi-purpose stadium complex that is able to accommodate close to 4,000 spectators. The field surface is Astroplay brand filled field turf that can be used in all types of weather. It also features a seven-pole Universal Sports Lighting system, an electronic remote controlled scoreboard, and heated concession building with bathrooms. The track is an eight-lane Mondo Limited Super X Surface.
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- Peter Brandt Deibler (born 1977), radio personality and host of The Kane Show
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