Population: 670 students
Motto: Raise The Bar! No excuses. 
Mascot: Poet
Colors: Purple and Gold


Take the 501 North business exit off the Lynchburg Expressway. Turn right at second light onto Twelfth Street. Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School for Innovation is 7 blocks north on the right opposite Polk Street.

School Hours

7:25 a.m.–2:25 p.m.

School Year

Our school year consists of two semesters; four grading periods of nine weeks each.


The Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School mascot is the Poet, in honor of the poet for which we are named.

Mission Statement

Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School for Innovation is committed to providing:

  • An educational program to meet the intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and cultural needs of our diverse population.
  • A safe and secure environment.
  • An atmosphere in which students, parents, staff, and community work together to achieve success.
  • A successful transition to the secondary experience.

Belief Statements

  • Each student has unique physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs.
  • All students are capable of learning and achieving.
  • Multicultural diversity and tolerance are key components of a learning environment.
  • Challenging standards should be set for student achievement in all areas.
  • Appropriate student behavior creates an environment that is conducive to learning.
  • Support from parents and the community is vital in the development of student achievement.
  • Technology and its application to research, communication, and productivity are essential in a global society.
  • A cultural arts program creates an appreciation for the visual and performing arts and expands an understanding of the world.

Click here for information about the application process.