Frequently Asked Questions
|Q. ||When may I drop off my child?|
Routines for pick up and drop off are outlined in the handbook for each division (see the link in your Veracross Parent Portal
). Preschool students can arrive between 8 and 8:30 a.m. In the Lower School, students may be dropped off as early as 7:30 a.m. If students are dropped off before 7:50 a.m., they should to go the first-floor commons in the Lower School, where they will be supervised by a staff member. Middle School students should not be dropped off before 7:45 a.m.
|Q. ||What is the Veracross Parent Portal?|
|A. ||Veracross is the software that Durham Academy uses to manage all student and parent information. The Parent Portal allows you to access your family information including your student schedule, parent directory, invoices and important documents. You will also use your Veracross Parent Portal to sign up for extended day, enrichments and aftercare. More FAQs about the Veracross Parent Portal may be found here.|
|Q. ||Is there a cafeteria?|
No, all students at Durham Academy bring a lunch. The Preschool, Lower and Middle Schools have a hot lunch about once a month. The Upper School student council has arranged with local vendors to provide lunchtime options. The cost is around $5 per day. A schedule of vendors is included in the daily Upper School announcements.
|Q. ||How do I pay my student bill? Where do I send it?|
Bills may be viewed and paid electronically by accessing your DA student account through the DA Veracross portal. You will receive your username and password in late June. Payment may also be sent by mail to the Business Office at 3130 Pickett Road, Durham, NC 27705. Please make sure that the student name appears on the check. You may send in one check for multiple students, but please be sure to print and send a copy of your student bill(s) or write the student name(s) and amount paid for each student on the check to ensure proper credit. If you are enrolled in the monthly payment option through FACTS
, please send payments directly to them. If you have questions, please contact Ellen Tvrdy, Student Billing Bookkeeper, at 919-489-6569 x6131.
|Q. ||Is there a dress code?|
|A. ||There is no uniform, but clothes should be modest and appropriate for school. Lower School students have PE every day and should wear sneakers.|
|Q. ||Are there after-school programs for my child?|
Our Aftercare and Extended Day Programs provide a safe, supportive and fun environment for our children in grades pre-k through eight. In addition to regular care, enrichment opportunities such as Chess, Flute, Piano, Guitar, Chinese, Martial Arts, Fencing, Yoga, Drama, Art, Sports, Jump Rope, Dance and Gymnastics are available as well. For the Preschool set, Aftercare is available from dismissal at 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. This is a supervised unstructured play time with their school friends. It also allows you to pick up your Preschool and Lower School children at the same time. Unfortunately, we do not have care after 2:30 p.m. for pre-k. At 2:30 p.m., Extended Day is available for children in kindergarten through grade four and for Middle School students at their 3 p.m. dismissal time. Students in kindergarten must be picked up by 5 p.m., but Lower and Middle Schoolers may stay until 6 p.m. Study hall is also available in both the Lower and Middle Schools.
On days when Durham Academy is closed for a faculty workday or parent teacher conference, we offer All Day Care from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the Lower School Extended Day classroom. For more information, please visit our after school programs Web page, www.da.org/extendedday
. For questions regarding pre-kindergarten/kindergarten Aftercare, please email Sheri-lyn Carrow at firstname.lastname@example.org
. For questions regarding kindergarten, Lower or Middle School Extended Day, study hall or enrichments, please contact Dan Gilson at email@example.com
|Q. ||Does Durham Academy offer summer camps?|
|A. ||Yes! We offer a wide variety of enrichment summer camps, including academic camps. For more information and camp descriptions, please visit our Summer Programs website.|
|Q. ||Where is the Back to School page?|
You will be asked to log in using your username (login) and password,
which will be sent to new DA families by the end of June. You may request your password or user ID using the email address you provided the school. If you need more help contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Usernames for the Durham Academy website and Veracross parent portal will be emailed to new parents in late June. The email will come from veracross.com. If you wish to change or confirm your email address, you may contact Margie Billinger (email@example.com
|Q. ||Where do I buy books for my Middle or Upper School student?|
All students in grades 5-12 may purchase textbooks online through Follett Virtual Online Bookstores. The virtual store website will open in July for book purchases for the school year. Complete instructions for access to the website will be made available to all DA families this summer. The school provides ISBN numbers for books if families wish to purchase them elsewhere. Please note that the books vary by teacher, so wait until your child's schedule is finalized before you purchase books.
The Cavalier Supply Company
(a.k.a. the DA school store) is located inside the Learning Commons on the Upper School campus and sells school supplies, DA clothing and snacks.
|Q. ||When will I know who my child's teacher is? May I ask for a specific teacher?|
The class lists will be included on the Back To School page in late July. You may not request a specific teacher. However, if you would like to discuss your child's needs, please make an appointment with the division director.
|Q. ||How does my child try out for sports?|
|A. ||All students in grades 7-12 are eligible to participate in our Interscholastic Athletic program. Enclosed with your welcome letter (or available on the athletics page) is the Athletic Physical form that must be signed by a doctor and returned to DA prior to beginning any sports practices. Starting dates for fall sports team try-outs and practices are on the athletics page of the Durham Academy website, as is a copy of the physical form. During the summer months you may call the athletic information line 489-2534, ext. 5 for current information or the athletic office 489-6569, ext. 6120. Fall sports game schedules will be on the Durham Academy website by July 15 as will the updated Athletic Handbook. We hope you're looking forward to an opportunity to participate!|
|Q. ||What is the procedure for picking up my child?|
Routines for pick up and drop off are outlined in the handbook for each division (see the Veracross Parent Portal
). Preschool parents must
park and walk in to pick up your child at 1:00 pm. If your child is staying in Aftercare, please either park in the back or go through the back carpool line. Do not park at the front curb at this time as it interferes with carpool. Lower School students may be picked up by either parking behind the Lower School and walking down to the carpool area to pick them up, or by going through the carpool line.
In the Preschool/Lower School carpool line, two lines of cars are formed. The lines merge at the top of the driveway as directed by a staff person. Make sure that the sign with your child(ren)'s name is hanging so that it is visible. Your child's name will be called and he/she will be assigned a pickup station at which to wait. Pull all the way up to your station. Please be courteous of other drivers. We also ask that you not use your cell phone during drop off and pick up.
In the Middle School, pickup locations are assigned by grade level. If you have more than one child to pick up, please have them wait at the pickup location for the oldest child.
|Q. ||What volunteer opportunities are available/expected?|
|A. ||Parent volunteers are the driving force behind our Parents Association. More information and a volunteer form may be found on the Parents Association web page. Volunteer opportunities vary by school division and, typically, you will sign up for them on Parents Night in the fall. In the Preschool, parents may sign up to provide food and decorations for holiday parties as well as for the celebratory parties which end the thematic units. In the Lower School, there are opportunities for hot lunches, lunchtime readers, drivers for field trips and classroom parties. Middle School parents will be asked to provide a hot lunch and drive for community service and field trips. Upper School opportunities vary by individual advisors.|
|Please use this link to register for after school programs, grades, check and change your profile information and view your invoices, back-to-school information and division handbooks. (New families will receive their login information in late June.)|
Middle and Upper School students are assigned to an advisory. These function as a smaller community group as well as a homeroom. In the Middle School a curriculum is taught during advisory. The students are assigned to different advisors and different groups as they move through their Middle School years. In the Upper School, advisors and the groups remain the same for all four years.
This service allows Prekindergarten and Kindergarten to remain at school until 2:30 p.m. Students are supervised by DA Preschool teachers and enrichments are available. Click here for more information
The playing field inside the track on the Upper School campus where varsity boys soccer (Fall) and girls lacrosse (Spring) are played.
The Annual Fund is the most important fundraising priority at Durham Academy. It helps bridge the gap between tuition income and the cost of operating the school. Unrestricted giving to the Annual Fund is put to use immediately and supports many programs that make Durham Academy extraordinary. For more information, visit the Annual Fund website
The Brumley Performing Arts Building is on the Preschool/Lower School campus. It is located behind the building with parking adjacent on either side.
|Cavalier Supply Co.|
The DA school store is located inside the Learning Commons on the Upper School campus. A smaller bookstore satellite is on the Middle School campus.
The projected graduation year — ie. students who enter Kindergarten in the fall of 2013 are considered Class of 2026.
Anyone who has attended Durham Academy is considered an alumna or alumnus.
Fifth- and sixth-grade students may choose to play Intramural Sports. There is some teaching of skills — but fun, good sportsmanship and participation are stressed above winning. The Intramural Sports seasons are: volleyball, soccer, 5th grade softball, and 6th grade basketball. Each May there is a Track and Field Day. All teams are coed, and each advisory fields a team. Students who sign up may play one season or several. For more information click here
Kirby Gymnasium is our Upper School gym, which opened after an extensive renovation in January 2013. Each December or January, Lower School families are invited to the gym for a special evening. More information on this event will be available later in the year.
As part of the Parents Council Welcoming Committee, mentor families are assigned to each student new to Durham Academy's Lower, Middle or Upper School. The role of the family varies by the age of the student. For the younger children the mentoring is mostly parent to parent, but with the older students, the children take the lead. You will be contacted by your mentor family during the summer. If you have not heard from them by Aug. 10, please call the Admissions Office.
|Middle School Shuttle|
The bus that brings 7/8 graders to the Upper School for after school sports practices and games.
A service provided to parents allowing them to drop their Middle School student off between 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. in front of Kenan Auditorium. Students will be driven by bus to the Middle School.
Playing field on Ridge Road where varsity field hockey (fall) and girls soccer (spring) are played.
The rotating schedule allows the school to provide more enrichment opportunities than we might otherwise be able to offer. You will receive a laminated calendar card at the beginning of the school year.
Preschool: 5-day rotation
Lower School: 6-day rotation
Middle and Upper School: 7-day rotation
Senior Challenge is the outdoor experience trip which is designed to encourage students to grow as a person and to grow as a class that better respects and values each of its members. It occurs at the beginning of the senior year.
To ease the transition from fourth grade to fifth grade, students in fifth grade are assigned to a travelling group who will, for the most part, have the same schedule. Exceptions occur for fine arts and foreign languages. Students do not have to remain with the group during transitions.
The Parents Council has established a Welcoming Committee, composed of current DA parent volunteers, to help new families throughout their transition to Durham Academy. The Welcoming Committee arranges summer get-togethers to introduce new parents and students to returning DA families in their respective grades. The Welcoming Committee also helps select mentor families for students in grades 1 - 12.