Welcome to Paul Laurence Dunbar High School! 
The entire Dunbar Family is looking forward to another great year of academic and personal growth, challenges, and accomplishments. We remain committed to working with your students as they achieve high academic, social, and personal goals. It is our mission to help make your students more responsible members of their community. In order to succeed at this goal, students, families and staff must continue to work together. Active parent participation and committed adults can make each day a positive experience for our high school students.

Our learning approach is geared towards offering our students a balanced and rigorous instructional program that is infused with technology. By utilizing teams at each grade level, we are able to create an academic experience that has the ability to meet the needs of all learners. We emphasize academic excellence while making connections through music, the arts, and technology. We are committed to supporting the whole child and we invite you to join in this effort to ensure that innovation, creative thinking, intellectual curiosity, thoughtful change, and good citizenship all occur!
- Principal Smith

Dunbar History
First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High SchoolDunbar High School defied the odds and in the process changed America. In the first half of the twentieth century, Washington D.C’s Dunbar High was an academically elite public school, despite being racially segregated by law and existing at the mercy of racist congressmen who held the school’s purse strings. The school’s well-educated teachers developed generations of high-achieving African Americans, groundbreakers that included the first black member of a presidential cabinet, the first black graduate of the US Naval Academy and the legal mastermind behind school desegregation. Today, as with too many troubled urban public schools, the majority of Dunbar students struggle with reading and math. But there is hope with the opening of a brand new $122 million facility that will bear the Dunbar name.


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