Local News

Durham Schools announces COVID-19 partnership, names new elementary school

Posted January 28, 2021 11:50 p.m. EST
Updated January 29, 2021 9:51 a.m. EST

— The Durham Public Schools Board of Education announced a new COVID-19-related partnership Thursday and approved the name of the district’s newest school.

Lyons Farm Elementary School will be built on land that was purchased nearly a decade ago off of Scott King Road. The 50+ acres was once owned by the Lyons family, which leased portions of it out to tobacco farmers.

Through post-reconstruction and much of the 20th century, the Lyons family fought legally, emotionally, and sometimes physically to keep their land and protect their livelihood. Through their farm, the Lyons were one of many African American families that contributed to the growth and economic opportunities for Durham.

The name "Lyons Farm Elementary School" was chosen after nearly 700 community members weighed in on what the name of the new school should be; all were taken into consideration.

Lyons Farm Elementary School will be located in southern Durham, an area where there is an urgent need for additional elementary school seats to relieve crowding and provide equitable opportunities for all DPS students, present and future.

The board also announced a partnership with Greenlight, a group that will help Durham Public Schools overcome COVID-19-related challenges.

Greenlight can help DPS with rapid antigen testing for the athletic department, COVID-19 testing at school and vaccine town halls and group meetings.

Durham Public Schools is currently operating remotely for the remainder of the school year, but the board on Thursday discussed what a transition to Plan B -- a mixed plan of in-school and remote learning -- would look like.

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