DPS Growth & Equity Plan

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Growing Together: An integrated plan for DPS students, schools, and the magnet program

On a daily basis, COVID-19 reminds Durham Public Schools Students, Families, Staff, and Administration of the need to come back to a better DPS. Even before COVID 19, Durham Public Schools set out to improve:

  • The health, safety, quality, and condition of the 53 DPS Learning Environments
  • The equity and access to educational opportunities for all DPS Students, including PreK

The DPS 2018-23 Strategic Plan was designed to address many of these interconnected issues in a comprehensive, integrated planning process. Working through these issues collectively will lead to a more equitable, accessible, and efficient system for DPS Student, Families, and Staff.


The 2018-2023 DPS Strategic Plan

Developed with student, community, and educator input, engagement, and participation, the 2018-23 DPS Strategic Plan establishes the mission, vision, and core beliefs for Durham Public Schools.

Mission: Durham Public Schools embraces, educates, and empowers every student to innovate, serve, and lead.

Vision: Durham Public Schools: Igniting Limitless Potential

Statement of Core Beliefs

  1. High Expectations: Every child can be academically successful
  2. Equity: Every student and school deserves equitable access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed; DPS must distribute those resources in a manner that eliminates inequities
  3. Shared Responsibility: DPS must be intentional in acting collaboratively and involving all stakeholders
  4. A Child-centered Approach: DPS will address the social, emotional, and academic needs of each student

A Seat for Every Student: Guidance from the Strategic Plan

  • Strategic Plan Priority 2: Learning Environment for Child-Centered Approach
  • Strategic Plan Priority 4: Strengthen School & Community Engagement
  • Strategic Plan Priority 5: Fiscal Responsibility
    • Addendum Strategies:
      • Evaluate DPS System of School Choice - Student assign policies and school boundaries/magnet priority zones
      • Develop Integrated Plan, grounded in equity, that balances:
        • Programming and Policies (Magnet Program & Assignment); and
        • Geographic School Boundaries


Project Overview

DPS PreK Program

Currently, DPS offers PreK in 61 Classrooms district-wide. In order to expand PreK presence in DPS Schools, the education suitability and design space requirements for PreK are uniquely different than conventional K-5 learning environment designs.

A robust PreK program, with a presence across Durham County, necessitates a review of learning environment guidelines for PreK, as well as EC, so that DPS classrooms are planned, designed, and constructed to match the needs of students and staff.

DPS Magnet Program

Currently, DPS offers magnet program instruction and lottery admission at 23 of 52 schools (43% of all DPS Students). There are 10 Magnet Elementary Schools, 7 Magnet Middle Schools, and 6 Magnet High Schools.

Starting in 2016 with the DPS Magnet Review Initiative, the need to further define, evaluate and improve our system of student assignment to achieve greater efficiency, access and equity has been well established.

DPS School Boundaries & Planning

The existing system of School Boundaries, in conjunction with the Magnet Program Priority Zones, comprise the geographic layer that the Office of Student Assignment considers for the purposes of assigning students to schools.

The growth and development of Durham, both in size and demographic shifts, is not presently reflected in the existing collection of DPS school boundaries. Nor are the State of North Carolina legislated requirements for Class Size in Kindergarten thru 3rd Grade (HB90). Moreover, the new construction of schools and the renovation and expansion of additional schools will help to alleviate the severe overcrowding at 22 of 30 Elementary Schools (73%).

  • Capital Improvement Program: The 2019 DPS Long Range Facility Assessment established that at minimum, even without reflecting recently approved residential growth in the City and County, DPS school buildings require $750 Million to modernize and repair. The DPS Board of Education and the Durham County Commissioners reached an agreement on an initial $508 Million Capital Improvement Program.
  • New Schools: The DPS Capital Improvement Program will result in two new elementary schools, with renovations and additional capacity at six elementary schools for PreK and Children with Exceptionalities by August 2023.


Planning for growth and equity together: The need for an integrated plan

In the process of redesigning school boundaries to reflect new and expanding schools, it is also necessary that policies and practices that comprise the System of Student Assignment reflect the vision, mission, and values of the Durham School Community.

Disjointed Planning

In complex systems, like urban public education, disjointed planning, or piece-meal solutions designed to address one problem, may exacerbate or generate additional issues. Without an Integrated Plan for Academics & Operations, districts may find themselves allocating resources in locations, schools, or school communities that are not in alignment with vision and values (Carey, 2011).

Disjointed Planning Costs:

  • Inconsistent, complex systems of student assignment
    • Student Enrollment Complexity
  • Inconsistent, complex systems of operations
    • Inefficiency of Operational Systems

Objective: An Integrated Plan (Growing Together)

School District Integrated Plans account for and reflect district leadership vision, data, and action on Students, School Operations & Systems of School Choice Programs.

  • Academic Programs (Course Offerings & System of Assignment)
  • Student Demographics
  • Facilities / Operational Services

Integrated Plan Benefits

  • Maximize Use of Scarce Resources
  • Access to Educational Programs/Outcomes for Students
  • Avoiding Inconsistent and/or Disjointed Decision-Making

Growing Together planning process milestones

Beginning in the Summer of 2019, DPS BOE and Administration began the comprehensive effort to evaluate and improve the system of student assignment and quality of learning environments at Durham Public Schools.

Milestone 1 | Integrated Plan Overview PreK, Magnet Program and School Boundaries

Video segments by integrated plan element

Summary

DPS establishes 3-tier Strategic Planning Framework: Begin with PreK, Align Magnet Program, Evaluate School Boundaries

Milestone 2 | Legal Precedent of Student Assignment

Video segments by integrated plan element

Summary

DPS Legal Council provides historical legal review with court precedents regarding Student Assignment by Demographics and Geographic factors.

Demographic factors may be used:

  • Magnet Program in Policies and Student Assignment Practices
  • School Boundaries by consideration of Operational Design Factors with Legal Constraints

Milestone 3 | DPS Growing Together Plan (Phase One Approved)

Video segments by integrated plan element

Summary

DPS Board of Education approval of Student Assignment & Boundary Adjustments for Creekside Elementary and Parkwood Elementary; Githens Middle School and Brogden Middle School for 2020-21 Academic Year.

Milestone 4 | DPS Strategic Plan Update (Addendum Approved)

Video segments by integrated plan element

Summary

DPS Board of Education approval of Addendum Strategic for Strategic Plan Priority Goal 5C - bridging the larger DPS 2018-23 Strategic Plan with the Growing Together Plan for System of Student Assignment and School Boundaries.

New Strategies Approved

  • Evaluate DPS System of School Choice - student assign policies and school boundaries/magnet priority zones
  • Develop Integrated Plan, grounded in equity, that balances
  1. Programming and Policies (Magnet Program & Assignment); and
  2. Geographic School Boundaries

Milestone 5 | Growing Together Planning Process (Phase Two) & Evaluation of Student Enrollment and Demographic Data

Video segments by integrated plan element

  1. YOUTUBE LINK: Student Enrollment & School Capacities
  2. YOUTUBE LINK: Equity & Diversity at District- and School-levels
  3. YOUTUBE LINK: Magnet Program & Student Assignment Data

Milestone 6 | Capital Improvement Plan Commitment

Video segments by integrated plan element

Summary

DPS Board of Education and Durham Board of County Commissioners agreed in principle on the funding levels required to support the development and renovations needed by DPS to address overcrowding and PreK program objectives.

Growing Together: An integrated plan for DPS students, schools, and the magnet program

On a daily basis, COVID-19 reminds Durham Public Schools Students, Families, Staff, and Administration of the need to come back to a better DPS. Even before COVID 19, Durham Public Schools set out to improve:

  • The health, safety, quality, and condition of the 53 DPS Learning Environments
  • The equity and access to educational opportunities for all DPS Students, including PreK

The DPS 2018-23 Strategic Plan was designed to address many of these interconnected issues in a comprehensive, integrated planning process. Working through these issues collectively will lead to a more equitable, accessible, and efficient system for DPS Student, Families, and Staff.


The 2018-2023 DPS Strategic Plan

Developed with student, community, and educator input, engagement, and participation, the 2018-23 DPS Strategic Plan establishes the mission, vision, and core beliefs for Durham Public Schools.

Mission: Durham Public Schools embraces, educates, and empowers every student to innovate, serve, and lead.

Vision: Durham Public Schools: Igniting Limitless Potential

Statement of Core Beliefs

  1. High Expectations: Every child can be academically successful
  2. Equity: Every student and school deserves equitable access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed; DPS must distribute those resources in a manner that eliminates inequities
  3. Shared Responsibility: DPS must be intentional in acting collaboratively and involving all stakeholders
  4. A Child-centered Approach: DPS will address the social, emotional, and academic needs of each student

A Seat for Every Student: Guidance from the Strategic Plan

  • Strategic Plan Priority 2: Learning Environment for Child-Centered Approach
  • Strategic Plan Priority 4: Strengthen School & Community Engagement
  • Strategic Plan Priority 5: Fiscal Responsibility
    • Addendum Strategies:
      • Evaluate DPS System of School Choice - Student assign policies and school boundaries/magnet priority zones
      • Develop Integrated Plan, grounded in equity, that balances:
        • Programming and Policies (Magnet Program & Assignment); and
        • Geographic School Boundaries


Project Overview

DPS PreK Program

Currently, DPS offers PreK in 61 Classrooms district-wide. In order to expand PreK presence in DPS Schools, the education suitability and design space requirements for PreK are uniquely different than conventional K-5 learning environment designs.

A robust PreK program, with a presence across Durham County, necessitates a review of learning environment guidelines for PreK, as well as EC, so that DPS classrooms are planned, designed, and constructed to match the needs of students and staff.

DPS Magnet Program

Currently, DPS offers magnet program instruction and lottery admission at 23 of 52 schools (43% of all DPS Students). There are 10 Magnet Elementary Schools, 7 Magnet Middle Schools, and 6 Magnet High Schools.

Starting in 2016 with the DPS Magnet Review Initiative, the need to further define, evaluate and improve our system of student assignment to achieve greater efficiency, access and equity has been well established.

DPS School Boundaries & Planning

The existing system of School Boundaries, in conjunction with the Magnet Program Priority Zones, comprise the geographic layer that the Office of Student Assignment considers for the purposes of assigning students to schools.

The growth and development of Durham, both in size and demographic shifts, is not presently reflected in the existing collection of DPS school boundaries. Nor are the State of North Carolina legislated requirements for Class Size in Kindergarten thru 3rd Grade (HB90). Moreover, the new construction of schools and the renovation and expansion of additional schools will help to alleviate the severe overcrowding at 22 of 30 Elementary Schools (73%).

  • Capital Improvement Program: The 2019 DPS Long Range Facility Assessment established that at minimum, even without reflecting recently approved residential growth in the City and County, DPS school buildings require $750 Million to modernize and repair. The DPS Board of Education and the Durham County Commissioners reached an agreement on an initial $508 Million Capital Improvement Program.
  • New Schools: The DPS Capital Improvement Program will result in two new elementary schools, with renovations and additional capacity at six elementary schools for PreK and Children with Exceptionalities by August 2023.


Planning for growth and equity together: The need for an integrated plan

In the process of redesigning school boundaries to reflect new and expanding schools, it is also necessary that policies and practices that comprise the System of Student Assignment reflect the vision, mission, and values of the Durham School Community.

Disjointed Planning

In complex systems, like urban public education, disjointed planning, or piece-meal solutions designed to address one problem, may exacerbate or generate additional issues. Without an Integrated Plan for Academics & Operations, districts may find themselves allocating resources in locations, schools, or school communities that are not in alignment with vision and values (Carey, 2011).

Disjointed Planning Costs:

  • Inconsistent, complex systems of student assignment
    • Student Enrollment Complexity
  • Inconsistent, complex systems of operations
    • Inefficiency of Operational Systems

Objective: An Integrated Plan (Growing Together)

School District Integrated Plans account for and reflect district leadership vision, data, and action on Students, School Operations & Systems of School Choice Programs.

  • Academic Programs (Course Offerings & System of Assignment)
  • Student Demographics
  • Facilities / Operational Services

Integrated Plan Benefits

  • Maximize Use of Scarce Resources
  • Access to Educational Programs/Outcomes for Students
  • Avoiding Inconsistent and/or Disjointed Decision-Making

Growing Together planning process milestones

Beginning in the Summer of 2019, DPS BOE and Administration began the comprehensive effort to evaluate and improve the system of student assignment and quality of learning environments at Durham Public Schools.

Milestone 1 | Integrated Plan Overview PreK, Magnet Program and School Boundaries

Video segments by integrated plan element

Summary

DPS establishes 3-tier Strategic Planning Framework: Begin with PreK, Align Magnet Program, Evaluate School Boundaries

Milestone 2 | Legal Precedent of Student Assignment

Video segments by integrated plan element

Summary

DPS Legal Council provides historical legal review with court precedents regarding Student Assignment by Demographics and Geographic factors.

Demographic factors may be used:

  • Magnet Program in Policies and Student Assignment Practices
  • School Boundaries by consideration of Operational Design Factors with Legal Constraints

Milestone 3 | DPS Growing Together Plan (Phase One Approved)

Video segments by integrated plan element

Summary

DPS Board of Education approval of Student Assignment & Boundary Adjustments for Creekside Elementary and Parkwood Elementary; Githens Middle School and Brogden Middle School for 2020-21 Academic Year.

Milestone 4 | DPS Strategic Plan Update (Addendum Approved)

Video segments by integrated plan element

Summary

DPS Board of Education approval of Addendum Strategic for Strategic Plan Priority Goal 5C - bridging the larger DPS 2018-23 Strategic Plan with the Growing Together Plan for System of Student Assignment and School Boundaries.

New Strategies Approved

  • Evaluate DPS System of School Choice - student assign policies and school boundaries/magnet priority zones
  • Develop Integrated Plan, grounded in equity, that balances
  1. Programming and Policies (Magnet Program & Assignment); and
  2. Geographic School Boundaries

Milestone 5 | Growing Together Planning Process (Phase Two) & Evaluation of Student Enrollment and Demographic Data

Video segments by integrated plan element

  1. YOUTUBE LINK: Student Enrollment & School Capacities
  2. YOUTUBE LINK: Equity & Diversity at District- and School-levels
  3. YOUTUBE LINK: Magnet Program & Student Assignment Data

Milestone 6 | Capital Improvement Plan Commitment

Video segments by integrated plan element

Summary

DPS Board of Education and Durham Board of County Commissioners agreed in principle on the funding levels required to support the development and renovations needed by DPS to address overcrowding and PreK program objectives.

Reflect on Concerns

School Reassignment provides a great deal of opportunity for DPS but the process is also fraught with many challenges and we want to consider those carefully.  Use this space to identify and expand on your fears and concerns.  You will be able to see one another's posts but not respond to them; only to reflect on them, as we move through this initial planning phase.  You can share links to resources that relate to your own concerns.  

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Page last updated: 13 May 2021, 08:12