Southwest DeKalb High School is rising in its own right as an academic powerhouse. Southwest DeKalb houses the the High Achievers Magnet Program for the south end of the county, and along with the resident students hosts an enrollment of over 1100 well rounded students. Consistently, Southwest DeKalb students receive millions of dollars in academic and athletic college scholarships.
More than half of our faculty and staff have advanced degrees. Several of our teachers are veteran educators with more than ten years of experience. Our teachers are committed to educating all students who enter their classrooms and many of them extend themselves beyond the normal school day by serving as coaches or sponsors of extracurricular activities. Tutorial help is offered to all students on a daily basis. All teachers dedicate at least two days per week before or after school tutorials in conjunction with the GHSGT "Write TO Pass" Afterschool Tutorial Session, the GHSGT "Saturday School," the "EOCT Saturday Showdown" Tutorial Session, and the GHSGT "Cram Time" Tutorial Session. Via departmental and team meetings, teachers are able to meet and collaborate with their colleagues. In doing so,teachers are able to provide guidance and support for each other.
Southwest DeKalb offers many programs that increase the rigor of course work for our students. One of the most successful academic programs is the highly acclaimed Magnet Program for High Achievers, which allows students the opportunity to participate in advanced and accelerated courses based upon their grades and standardized test scores. They must all be committed to their education. Additionally, we offer fifteen Advanced Placement Courses, and our numbers in those classes are steadily increasing in number, and recognition by the College Board. Southwest DeKalb was recognized during the 2006-2007 school year as an AP Model of Excellence School. During the spring of 2008, Southwest DeKalb High School was recognized as an AP Honor School. The adoption of the High Schools That Work Initiative has moved our students to the next level by helping them become more productive and responsible citizens. As a result of the HSTW initiative, we have implemented a Freshman Academy, two Career Academies, an Advisement Program and required Senior Project for every senior with a mandate that all seniors complete at least 20 hours of community service before they graduate. We have implemented a Summer Bridge Program for eighth grade students entering the ninth grade which eases the transition into the high school setting.
We have instituted programs such as the Study Table, Departmental Tutorial, Saturday School, Kaplan SAT Review to increase performances on standardized tests, including the End of Course Test, Advanced Placement Exams, the SAT, and the GHSGT. Test scores on the English and Writing portions of the GHSGT are consistently high and rank among the top ten in the county.
Additionally, we offer a variety of extracurricular activities for all students, including community service organizations, honor societies, athletic teams, marching, jazz, and concert bands, debate teams,and academic clubs. Our marching band has received numerous national and international honors for their elite playing abilities and for the second year in a row, Southwest DeKalb received top athletic honors for excelling in all sports. The Girl's Varsity Basketball Team won the State Championship during Spring of 2008 for the first time in Southwest DeKalb's recent history. The Girl's Track Team also won the State Championship for the second year in a row. The Wrestling Team also performed as a formidable force at the State Competition with several winners in the various weight classes with 2nd and 3rd places, and the Wrestling Team placed 9th in the State of Georgia. Southwest DeKalb's Bowling Team also ranked 1st in the county. In addition, Southwest DeKalb's Drama Team won 1st Runner-Up in the Once Act Play State Competition in Savannah, Georgia in March 2008. The Marching Panthers of Southwest DeKalb have earned ratings of superior and excellence at District Level Competitions as well at the 2008 Band Jamboree. The Mighty Marching Panthers also were leading characters in Dallas Austin's highly acclaimed hit T.V. Show called "Drum Roll."
Academically, we have established ourselves as a powerhouse by being internationally recognized for the last four years as the school that had the largest number of African-Americans in the nation to score three or better on the AP U.S. History exam. A large percentage of our students are also successful on the AP Calculus, and the AP Language Exams. Southwest DeKalb also had Governor's Honor Finalists, as well as four winners in the State of National Skills USA Competition during the Spring of 2008. Southwest DeKalb also had an Academic Bowl Team to participate in Channel 2's WSB High Q Television Competition during the Fall of 2007. Our faculty and staff members sacrifice many hours to nurture students inside and outside the classroom. Our PTSA, business and community leaders work closely with the teachers and administrative staff to help us achieve our academic and financial goals. We believe that all students can be successful at Southwest DeKalb High School, and the administration, the faculty, and staff of Southwest DeKalb High School are here to help our students excel and achieve in all of their endeavors be it academically or athletically.