Growing Together: Regions, Programs, and Boundaries

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For more than two years, Durham Public Schools has been reimagining student assignment practices for all DPS students. We have examined current student assignment policies, recognized their impacts, and are committed to increasing equity, access, and diversity across our school district. Last fall, DPS staff, parents, and the Durham community were critical voices in helping district leaders reach a major milestone within this initiative -- an update to Policy 4150.

The next phase of Growing Together includes the following three components for elementary schools, with consideration of grades 6-12 next year:

  • Aligning PreK and EC Special Program classrooms so that our youngest and often most vulnerable students have access to programs that they need and deserve.
  • Evaluating the impact of magnet programs to ensure that students can equitably access programs.
  • School boundary adjustments in response to our rapidly growing community. DPS has three schools under construction and is renovating several others.

Over the next few weeks, DPS leaders will share the collective vision for our district, centered in the feedback gathered from stakeholders over the past year. We invite all of Durham to join one of several opportunities available this spring to learn more.


DPS REGIONAL ACCESS MODEL

The revisions to Policy 4150 adopted by the DPS Board of Education in December 2021 have enabled DPS to develop regions within the county for student assignment and the placement of programs to help the district pursue our diversity and equity goals, monitor and evaluate equity and growth in Durham County, and strengthen and improve the efficiency of transportation services for families through regional planning.

Five regions have been identified in Durham County. The regions are bounded by geographical and community features as well as infrastructure. Each region is comparable in terms of socioeconomic status and the proportion of families identifying as people of color. Not every region is the same geographic size, but the choice programs within these regions—as well as families’ access to those choice programswill be comparable in each region. The overall likelihood of families being able to be placed in choice programs through the lottery will rise.

View the regional map.

View the demographics of each region.

Watch a video about the Regional Access Model.

Listen to the Get to Know as We Grow Podcast about the Growing Together Initiative.


PROGRAM PLACEMENT

Since February 2021, DPS leaders have actively sought feedback from families and staff about their hopes, dreams, and vision for Durham Public Schools about ensuring that we are Growing Great Schools Together, beginning with our elementary programs. Engagement efforts uncovered common themes among stakeholders as to the academic offerings they would like to see offered throughout DPS, not only in our application (magnet) schools.

The Growing Together initiative’s recommendations enhance programming in all DPS elementary schools. Beginning in the 2024-25 school year every elementary school will provide the following academic areas:

  • Daily
    • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
  • Weekly
    • Visual Arts
    • Music
    • Global Languages

The plan also calls for application year-round schools and Dual Language Immersion programs in each of the five regions. District-wide, families will be able to apply for Montessori and International Baccalaureate programs.

When Growing Together is fully implemented at the elementary level:

  • There will be more total seats available to Durham County families in schools with application programs.
  • Every application school will have a base area where families in the neighborhood will be able to automatically enroll.
  • However, a greater percentage of families across Durham County will have the opportunity for lottery access to application schools.

Working with the community in the coming months, we will

  • Develop rules of access to the application lottery to increase equity and diversity in applications schools.
  • Develop transition rules to support students and families whose schools’ academic programs may be changing.


PROPOSED BOUNDARIES

Durham County has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. However, school boundaries have not changed substantially since then. With the regional model in place and program placements having been recommended, DPS is also adjusting school boundaries to improve diversity and equity in our schools, simplify bus routes and improve transportation service, and make the best use of our school facilities.

Currently, DPS has 13 elementary schools that are either severely overcrowded or under-enrolled. Under the proposed boundaries, only three elementary schools would be severely overcrowded or under-enrolled—and each of them is scheduled to receive significant renovations under the current Capital Improvement Plan and the scheduled November 2022 school bond referendum. DPS would also be able to move more of our students and teachers out of mobile units and back into brick-and-mortar school buildings.

View the proposed elementary school boundaries' interactive map.



TRANSITION PLANNING


GROWING TOGETHER VIDEO UPDATE

Need a recap about Growing Together? This video offers an overview of the project, our accomplishments thus far, and next steps.


RESOURCES

View the Growing Together FAQ
April 28 Town Hall Recording
May 19 DPS Board of Education Meeting (Beginning at 1:06)
May 31 Public Hearing


GET TO KNOW AS WE GROW PODCAST

Durham Public Schools is launching "Get To Know As We Grow", a podcast discussing the importance of Growing Together and the necessary work being done to provide all Durham children with the education they deserve. Click here for episodes.





For more than two years, Durham Public Schools has been reimagining student assignment practices for all DPS students. We have examined current student assignment policies, recognized their impacts, and are committed to increasing equity, access, and diversity across our school district. Last fall, DPS staff, parents, and the Durham community were critical voices in helping district leaders reach a major milestone within this initiative -- an update to Policy 4150.

The next phase of Growing Together includes the following three components for elementary schools, with consideration of grades 6-12 next year:

  • Aligning PreK and EC Special Program classrooms so that our youngest and often most vulnerable students have access to programs that they need and deserve.
  • Evaluating the impact of magnet programs to ensure that students can equitably access programs.
  • School boundary adjustments in response to our rapidly growing community. DPS has three schools under construction and is renovating several others.

Over the next few weeks, DPS leaders will share the collective vision for our district, centered in the feedback gathered from stakeholders over the past year. We invite all of Durham to join one of several opportunities available this spring to learn more.


DPS REGIONAL ACCESS MODEL

The revisions to Policy 4150 adopted by the DPS Board of Education in December 2021 have enabled DPS to develop regions within the county for student assignment and the placement of programs to help the district pursue our diversity and equity goals, monitor and evaluate equity and growth in Durham County, and strengthen and improve the efficiency of transportation services for families through regional planning.

Five regions have been identified in Durham County. The regions are bounded by geographical and community features as well as infrastructure. Each region is comparable in terms of socioeconomic status and the proportion of families identifying as people of color. Not every region is the same geographic size, but the choice programs within these regions—as well as families’ access to those choice programswill be comparable in each region. The overall likelihood of families being able to be placed in choice programs through the lottery will rise.

View the regional map.

View the demographics of each region.

Watch a video about the Regional Access Model.

Listen to the Get to Know as We Grow Podcast about the Growing Together Initiative.


PROGRAM PLACEMENT

Since February 2021, DPS leaders have actively sought feedback from families and staff about their hopes, dreams, and vision for Durham Public Schools about ensuring that we are Growing Great Schools Together, beginning with our elementary programs. Engagement efforts uncovered common themes among stakeholders as to the academic offerings they would like to see offered throughout DPS, not only in our application (magnet) schools.

The Growing Together initiative’s recommendations enhance programming in all DPS elementary schools. Beginning in the 2024-25 school year every elementary school will provide the following academic areas:

  • Daily
    • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
  • Weekly
    • Visual Arts
    • Music
    • Global Languages

The plan also calls for application year-round schools and Dual Language Immersion programs in each of the five regions. District-wide, families will be able to apply for Montessori and International Baccalaureate programs.

When Growing Together is fully implemented at the elementary level:

  • There will be more total seats available to Durham County families in schools with application programs.
  • Every application school will have a base area where families in the neighborhood will be able to automatically enroll.
  • However, a greater percentage of families across Durham County will have the opportunity for lottery access to application schools.

Working with the community in the coming months, we will

  • Develop rules of access to the application lottery to increase equity and diversity in applications schools.
  • Develop transition rules to support students and families whose schools’ academic programs may be changing.


PROPOSED BOUNDARIES

Durham County has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. However, school boundaries have not changed substantially since then. With the regional model in place and program placements having been recommended, DPS is also adjusting school boundaries to improve diversity and equity in our schools, simplify bus routes and improve transportation service, and make the best use of our school facilities.

Currently, DPS has 13 elementary schools that are either severely overcrowded or under-enrolled. Under the proposed boundaries, only three elementary schools would be severely overcrowded or under-enrolled—and each of them is scheduled to receive significant renovations under the current Capital Improvement Plan and the scheduled November 2022 school bond referendum. DPS would also be able to move more of our students and teachers out of mobile units and back into brick-and-mortar school buildings.

View the proposed elementary school boundaries' interactive map.



TRANSITION PLANNING


GROWING TOGETHER VIDEO UPDATE

Need a recap about Growing Together? This video offers an overview of the project, our accomplishments thus far, and next steps.


RESOURCES

View the Growing Together FAQ
April 28 Town Hall Recording
May 19 DPS Board of Education Meeting (Beginning at 1:06)
May 31 Public Hearing


GET TO KNOW AS WE GROW PODCAST

Durham Public Schools is launching "Get To Know As We Grow", a podcast discussing the importance of Growing Together and the necessary work being done to provide all Durham children with the education they deserve. Click here for episodes.





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Page last updated: 14 Jun 2022, 05:00 AM