About DA

7:1

Student/Faculty Ratio

73%

of Full-Time Faculty Hold Advanced Degrees

1,231

Students Pre-K to 12

25

Advanced Placement Courses

37%

Students of Color

Commitment to Academic Excellence

From our youngest learners — in whom we strive to foster a love of learning and curiosity about the world — to our Upper Schoolers — whom we challenge to think critically, write and speak with clarity and conviction, and continue to chase answers to questions big and small — academic excellence is at the core of Durham Academy's DNA.

Our teachers are the best of the best. DA faculty — the majority of whom hold master's and doctoral degrees — guide students through a rigorous and challenging college preparatory curriculum, experimenting and innovating along the way to help each child to reach their highest individual potential. 

This work is supported by state-of-the-art facilities, starting with the bright, colorful Preschool/Lower School campus equipped with science laboratories, a light-filled art studio and a TED (technology, engineering and design) Lab, and culminating in the Upper School, which recently welcomed the addition of the STEM & Humanities Center, complete with a robotics fabrication lab and myriad spaces for group collaboration.

20 years of faculty teaching experience on average

Middle 50% SAT scores: 1320–1500 (out of 1600)

47 National Merit Scholarship finalists over the past 4 years

1:1 iPad program in grades 3–8

1:1 MacBook program in grades 9–12


Our Mission & Values

What do we mean by "a moral, happy and productive life"? We mean choices informed by empathy and wisdom, and driven by the pursuit of joy and courage. We mean lives measured by resilience, integrity and kindness. Our goal is to equip our students for lives in which they are known as kind, responsible, curious, driven members of their communities.
 


At Durham Academy, we don't just hang our mission statement on a wall to collect dust. We live it every day. Our mission — to provide each student an education that will enable him or her to live a moral, happy and productive life — is woven into every school day, for every single student. More than academic accolades, character endures.

DA's commitment to our values is tangible in the relationship our Preschoolers have formed with residents of a nearby retirement center, in the Middle School's emphasis on kindness, and in the above video that captures Upper School English teacher Dr. Harry Thomas' dedication to his students' holistic education — as students of literature and as volunteers at Urban Ministries of Durham.


Prepared for Lives of Purpose

A Durham Academy education can change lives. Need proof? Just ask an alum. In a recent survey of college-age DA alumni, respondents indicated that the top three most valuable aspects of their experience at DA were relationships with teachers, small class sizes and individualized attention — and 96% of alumni said the school prepared them well for the academic demands of college.

Walking side-by-side with students on their journey to college are Durham Academy's three full-time college counselors, whose goal is to match students with their "perfect-fit" college or university — where they'll be happiest and find success — rather than focusing on brand names. The 102 members of the Class of 2018 matriculated to 49 schools — from large public flagship universities and schools specializing in art/design and science/engineering, to Ivy Leagues and HBCUs.

Our alumni go out into the world and pay forward the life-changing education they received at Durham Academy — the embodiment of DA's mission to produce "moral, happy and productive" adults. Dr. Billy Fischer '94 credits physics teacher Lou Parry with helping to set the foundation for his work fighting Ebola in West Africa. And journalist Kate Taylor's ('09) enthusiasm for her work (writing about "fast food and other weird things we consume" for Business Insider) is palpable in every word she writes. Meet more of our alumni.

Allison McWilliams '91

"DA gave me a great foundation upon which to build. I realized quite early into my first year at Wake Forest how well DA had prepared me for the educational challenges of college. I was surrounded by people who were valedictorians and salutatorians of their classes, and yet had no idea how to write or how to study. That is a gift that DA gave to me that I will always value. DA instilled in me the importance of learning, and that is something I carry with me to this day."

Allison McWilliams '91