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W.E.B. DuBois Celebration

On Saturday September 5, 2009, W.E.B. DuBois High School celebrated being removed from the “persistently dangerous” schools list. Baltimore City leaders, Dubois students, school staff, district leadership and Access411 team members attended the celebration.

What is a “Persistently Dangerous School”?

A persistently dangerous school is defined as a school in which each year for three consecutive years the total number of student suspensions for more than 10 days or expulsions for serious offenses equals 2½ percent or more of the total number of students enrolled in a school.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, parents of students attending persistently dangerous schools have the option of transferring their children to another, safer facility. Baltimore City is required to notify parents of this option and, in a timely manner, designate a school not identified as persistently dangerous to which students may transfer.

W.E.B. DuBois High School was on the “persistently dangerous” list since 2006.

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Principal Delores Berry-Binder opened the celebration by welcoming all and thanking those who helped in this accomplishment, including Access411. Ms. Berry-Binder then spoke to the gravity of the accomplishment and that it took a total team effort to get there. She thanked the students for being willing to work towards this goal and how they should be proud of the accomplishment.

Mayor Shelia Dixon arrived to provide her support to Ms. Berry-Binder and all those who have worked so hard. Mayor Dixon made the stop at the school on her bike, which she was in the middle of riding 100 miles on this day, to speak at the celebration. Mayor Dixon had kind words for all who helped change the school that ultimately led to being removed from the “persistently dangerous” list.

Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonzo followed up Mayor Dixon’s speech talking about the improvements in all of Baltimore City Public Schools. Dr. Alonzo stressed that this wasn’t the end goal, but just the beginning of what the young people in the schools can accomplish. He congratulated all that were involved and wished them continued success.

Students were on hand to receive the certificate stating that they were removed from the “persistently dangerous” list. The festivities then moved outside to for the ribbon cutting ceremony. The ribbon cutting signified the opening of a new safer and improved W.E.B. DuBois High School.

Access411 felt honored and humbled to be part of such a great accomplishment and to be a part of such a wonderful school. It was a time to celebrate. Celebrate a momentous accomplishment. Reflect on what it took to get there. And to thank all that were involved.