Durham Academy Middle School began welcoming students to the brand-new Arts & World Languages Center on Monday after many years of planning and nearly two years of construction. The light-filled facility — which houses world language and arts classes — is the first step in a four-stage plan to reimagine the Middle School campus.
“For me, the Humanities wing is more than a nice new facility. It’s a space that gives my colleagues and me the chance to pick each others’ brains and support one another every single day.” — Dr. Lauren Garrett, English teacher
From Preschoolers who will frequent the halls of the new Upper School STEM and Humanities Center in a decade, to alumni, parents and faculty who understand just how great of an impact the new building will have on learning, STEM enthusiasts of all ages marveled as they wandered the halls of the new state-of-the-art building on Aug. 20. They gathered for a ribbon-cutting celebrating the completion of the STEM wing of the two-story, 46,000-square-foot facility.
The last time Durham Academy dreamed this big was more than 20 years ago. Then, as now, we were responding to high demand that was causing admissions constraints: the school was at capacity, we weren’t able to serve as many deserving families as we wanted to, we were starting to lose the ability to keep families together, and we were being forced to balance those priorities with a long-standing commitment to increasing diversity.
Durham Academy opened the 2016–2017 school year with its largest-ever student body: 1,203 students. While the school’s enrollment has risen incrementally for the past couple of decades, this year’s growth — up from 1,184 in 2015-2016 — is greater than in recent years, and that’s intentional.
Durham Academy opened the 2015–2016 school year with 1,185 students, topping last year's 1,183 opening day enrollment, which was also DA's largest-ever. It was an unprecedented year for admissions: DA has reached a record enrollment, yet enrolled fewer new students, 143, than the 167 new students in 2014-2015.
Starting tonight, a group of 57 parents, faculty, administrators, alumni, parents of alumni and trustees will participate in a two-day strategic planning retreat, facilitated by Dan Baum, executive director of the Redwoods Group Foundation.
In early September, more than 4,000 Durham Academy constituents representing current parents, faculty, staff, alumni and Upper School students received a quantitative online survey created by The Link Group to engage input, identify priorities and assess support for initiatives for the 2014-2015 Strategic Plan. More than 1,100 respondents completed the survey.
The 2015 Durham Academy Strategic Planning Survey closes at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 15. Please take 15 minutes to share your ideas, priorities, and aspirations for DA through the survey emailed to you on Sept. 2.
On Tuesday, September 2nd Durham Academy will kick off its 2014-15 strategic planning process with an online survey emailed to all DA parents, faculty, staff and alumni. Your participation is vital in helping DA plan its future. This is your chance to share your ideas about what matters most to you about Durham Academy and help identify the key goals and issues that will propel the school forward in visionary ways. Your feedback will help determine the direction of the school in teaching and learning, the size and strength of our community, our model for financial sustainability and the long-range plan for our campus.