Changing Minds, Shaping Lives

The true mark of a progressive community is the quality of its educational system and its educators. In Decatur, we believe that learning is a habit that becomes a lifelong passion.

Our public school system includes 12 elementary schools, three junior highs, and two high schools. Decatur also has five private/parochial schools and three institutions of higher education.

Exciting things are happening in Decatur City Schools!

  • Decatur is the only school system in the state north of Birmingham that offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program and is the only system in Alabama that has the IB program in the middle schools.
  • Several elementary schools, all middle schools, and both high schools have award-winning robotics teams.
  • The Environmental Learning Center is a unique partnership between public schools and industry.
  • Both high schools are consistently above the state and national averages on the ACT college placement exams.
  • Decatur City Schools have the second largest chorus in the state.
  • Austin High’s band has received the most consecutive superior ratings of any band in Alabama.
  • Decatur High’s band has received the most superior ratings of any band in Alabama.
  • Decatur City Schools have 23 National Board certified teachers, which puts it in the top 10 school systems in the state with the most National Board certified teachers.
  • A Decatur City student was the state winner of SkillsUSA auto tech competition.
  • Decatur City Schools are a national MOVE model site. MOVE helps children and adults with severe disabilities acquire increased independence in sitting, standing, and walking so they may experience, learn and gain mobility, better health, and enhanced personal dignity.
  • Decatur City Schools was the first system in the state to have a partnership with the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
  • Every third-grade student in the city receives 10 Suzuki violin lessons.

Higher Education

John C. Calhoun Community College

Calhoun Community College

John C. Calhoun Community College , the largest of the two-year institutions in the Alabama College System , offers 49 associate degree programs and 52 career/certificate programs. Calhoun serves just over 9,000 students at its 110-acre Decatur campus; its Huntsville/Cummings Research Park site; at Redstone Arsenal, a local military installation; and at the Limestone Correctional Facility. Calhoun successfully continues to meet the educational and training demands of a unique and highly diverse population. The college also is committed to providing training and education for area business and industry through our Business and Industry Services division . Calhoun’s art gallery and theatre are a collaborative piece of the collegiate arts showcased at the Alabama Center for the Arts .

Athens State University

Athens State University

Athens State University  is the oldest consecutively operated higher education institution in the state and is the only upper-level university in Alabama. Athens State works in direct conjunction with Calhoun Community College to serve students as they transition to complete the last two years of their bachelor’s degree programs. The University offers over 50 majors and 40 minors and provides online degree programs with two master’s degree tracks.

Alabama Center for the Arts

Alabama Center for the Arts

The Alabama Center for the Arts  is a collaborative educational effort made by Calhoun Community College, Athens State University, the City of Decatur, and Morgan County. Together, these contributing entities have created a hub for multi-institutional collegiate instruction and non-credit community classes. Courses have included: pottery, ceramics, and computer graphics.