Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.)

Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.)

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Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.)

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Dunbar High School is a public secondary school located in Washington, D.C., United States. The school is located in the Truxton Circle neighborhood of Northwest Washington, two blocks from the intersection of New Jersey and New York Avenues. Dunbar, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the District of Columbia Public Schools.


Originally named Preparatory High School for Colored Youth and later known as M Street High School, the name was changed in honor of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. Founded as an educational mission at the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, Dunbar was America's first high school for black students. It was later the academic high school, with other schools related to vocational or technical training goals. It was known for its excellent academics, enough so that some black parents moved to Washington specifically so their children could attend it. Its faculty was paid well by the standards of the time, earning parity pay to Washington's white school teachers because they were federal employees. It also boasted a remarkably high number of graduates who went on to higher education, and a generally successful student body.

It is similar to Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland and Fort Worth, Texas, as all three schools have a majority African American student body and are of a major importance to the local African American community. All three schools are also highly regarded for their athletic programs within their...
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