School Guide Magazine

Durham County Public Schools

Posted June 6, 2007 2:00 p.m. EDT
Updated June 6, 2007 2:44 p.m. EDT

A public school system with two elementary Montessori schools, a health sciences academy, its own School of the Arts, Early College High School and many more offerings. That’s Durham Public Schools, a school district where parents have educational choices for their children.

“When we relocated to the Triangle five years ago, we really could have lived in any town or city within this area,” said DPS parent Tammy Sasser. “We chose Durham and have been extremely pleased with the schools.”
Student achievement continues to rise in Durham Public Schools. Ninety-three percent of DPS third-graders are now reading at or above grade level. This puts the district merely two percentage points shy of meeting its goal of 95 percent by the end of the 2006-07 school year.

Durham Public Schools is expanding its commitment to providing parents the state’s widest range of options for their children. DPS spent six months listening to the Durham community’s ideas and concerns regarding what kinds of schools and programs they would like to see. From that, more instructional options such as gifted and talented and science and technology are being considered.

The addition of a Montessori program at George Watts Elementary School has been wonderfully successful. The program has been expanded to serve more than 200 students in kindergarten through second grade. It will be offered in all grades at the school by fall 2008. Morehead Elementary already is a Montessori school.

Durham Public Schools has achieved a great deal of measurable success in its elementary schools over the last several years. The system is now focused on expanding that level of success to the upper grades. Middle and high school improvement is under way, with changes in programs to better relate to students.
Durham Public Schools high school students are now offered additional options. The Early College High Schools are small high schools from which students may leave with a two-year Associate of Arts degree, or with sufficient college credits to enter a four-year, liberal arts program as a junior.

Early College High Schools focus on students for whom a smooth transition into post-secondary education is challenging: low-income students, minority students, English Language learners, and first-generation, college-bound students.

How to Learn More
You can find out more about Durham Public Schools, our programs and services, on our Web site,, or by calling the Durham Public Schools Office of Public Affairs, 919-560-3652.